Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dan Lathrop

Dan was from Chaves county but he work hard on our regional water plan. lathrop obit Services for Dan Lathrop, who died December 21, 2016, will be held January 14, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 201 5th Street, Dexter, New Mexico. Dan C. Lathrop was born March 18, 1957, to Charles Lawrence Lathrop and Annie Lee Blanchard. He lived for a short time in Hagerman and then moved to a house on the family farm and lived there all his life. He loved farming. He loved plowing, night irrigating and baling hay under a full moon. He loved growing chile. He loved castles, elephants and owls. He studied history, especially military history, and enjoyed Louis L’Amour westerns. Marty Robbins tunes and just about any country western ballad were on his play list — especially the sappy songs. His favorite sci fi novels were about a deformed wise guy named Miles Vorkosigan in books by Lois McMaster Bujold. He loved chick flicks — the tear jerkers. Dan attended public schools in Hagerman and Dexter, graduating Dexter High School as a National Merit Scholar and Valedictorian, class of 1975. He attended New Mexico State University graduating with highest honors and double Bachelor of Science degrees in Agri-Business Management and Farm & Ranch Management in 1979. He farmed from 1979 until [auth] 2002 raising chile, cotton, alfalfa and grain crops for cattle feed. When he became manager of the farm in 1986 he expanded its acreage. On August 1, 1992, he married Marilyn Woodburn, mother of four children, an instant family. The couple had two more children of their own. Dan loved children and could set them at ease with his warm, easy manner. He was Cub Master of Pack 19 in Dexter for 13 years and was willing to don any number of absurd get-ups for advancement ceremonies: plastic crown and velvet cape; a Samurai helmet and carrying the samurai sword his uncle had liberated in WWII; Indian headdress or a bear mask, just to name a few. He was Committee Chairman Troop 19, Rio Hondo District, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and a Commissioner, Rio Hondo District, BSA. He helped many young boys become men. Dan represented the Hagerman Irrigation Company on the Pecos Valley Water Users Organization board starting in 1998. He chaired a sub-committee on the history of the Pecos and the Hagerman Canal. Woods Houghton describes Dan as a “voice of reason” in the sometimes heated arguments over water use in the lower Pecos Valley. Along with Dick Smith, Dan represented Region 10 on the Interstate Streams Commission’s advisory committee and was instrumental in the completion of the comprehensive plan for water use in the lower Pecos Valley in 2002. You’ll find him quoted in Patrick Dearen’s book, Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River, a history of the Pecos River commissioned by the Pecos River Resolution Corp, an organization founded to study the Pecos River and report the findings. Dan served on the Pecos River Resolution advisory board. Few people know as much about the hydrology of the Pecos River and its history as Dan did. Dan began attending meetings with his father and later became president of the Hagerman Irrigation Company in 1992. Other positions in which Dan served: president of the Greenfield Mutual Domestic Water Users’ organization beginning in 1995; trustee, Hagerman Cemetery Association; Elder and member of session at the First Presbyterian Church, Dexter, and commissioner to Sierra Blanca Presbytery. Before that, Dan served as vice president of the church council for the First Methodist Church, Dexter. Dan was a member of the Dexter School Board for 12 years. In 2001, Dan suffered an aortic dissection of his entire aorta. The survival rate for such an event is zero, except for Dan. God performed many miracles to keep Dan here until his race was finished. He was a walking testimony of the power and love of God. The aortic dissection and the aneurysm that appeared the following year eventually pushed Dan out of farming. He lived with a constant headache for 16 years and most of the time nobody knew it. Even as he mourned forced retirement from farming, he kept true to his motto, “Do what you can do.” Now, as King David said, “He cannot return to me, but I may go to him.” In that hope we live and carry on the work of the Kingdom of God — which is Serve Others in Love. Dan’s parents preceded him in death. He is survived by his brother, Robert Lathrop and sister-in-law, Karen; wife, Marilyn; children, Philip Killough, Eve (Turkle) Wisniewski, John Turkle, Aaron Turkle, Charles Lathrop and Daniel Lathrop; daughters-in-law, Cynthia (Baca) Killough and Elisabeth (Pacheco) Turkle and future daughter-in-law, Adriana Gonzales; grandchildren: Nathan and Natalie Turkle; Arayla and Max Wisniewski. Also surviving him are many cousins, nieces and nephews. Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at

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