Cover photo for Jim Lathrop's Obituary
Jim Lathrop Profile Photo
1929 Jim 2014

Jim Lathrop

May 20, 1929 — September 23, 2014

Jim (James David) Lathrop, 85 was born in Ottumwa, Iowa on May 20, 1929 to the home of James Alvin and Dorothy Ethel (Moore) Lathrop. He passed away peacefully at his home in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, on September 23, 2014. Because of the Depression, Jim's parents moved often. Their medical careers took them to Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma and finally back to Spokane, Washington. Jim is a well-known custom saddle maker. His saddles have gone as far away as Kuwait. He also holds a lifetime gold card in the PRCA. In 2008, the Academy of Western Artists awarded Jim the Don King Memorial Saddlemaker Award for lifelong excellence in his craft. Jim learned his trade by working in saddle shops such as Hamley's, Victor Arios', Porter's and Capriola's. He eventually opened his own shops in California, Montana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. It was in Montana that he met his wife Mary. During the winter, Jim worked at ski resorts in Whitefish at Big Mountain, in Missoula at Snow Bowl and lastly in Bozeman at Bridger Bowl as Lift Operations Superintendent for 11 years. During the summers, he built saddles in his shop behind his home on North Willson Avenue, Bozeman. After suffering an on-the-job injury, Jim and Mary moved to New Mexico where he continued to build saddles. Jim is survived by his wife Mary of 33 years; by his son, Will Lathrop and wife Melissa of Poteau, Oklahoma; Melissa's children Joey Roberts, daughters Lissa Day and Melly Payne with husband Cameron of Hodgen, Oklahoma; Will's sons Phillip James Lathrop, wife Bree and children Brooklyn and Audrey of Poteau, Oklahoma; Tyler John Lathrop and wife Megan of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; daughter Eileen Winkle and husband Bob of Wister, Oklahoma; their three sons Justin Winkle and wife Monica of McKinleyville, California, and their sons Drake and Aidan; Brian Winkle and his children Tyler and Kayla of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; and, Matthew Winkle and wife Tiffany of Spirit Lake, Idaho. In keeping with Jim's wishes, no services are planned. In lieu of flowers memorial may be sent to his widow at P.O. Box 911, Fort Sumner, New Mexico 88119. Arrangements were under the direction of Chavez Funeral Home, 810 N. Fifth Street, Fort Sumner, NM (575) 355-2311.
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