Latha was born on April 2, 1924 to Charles and Mary Margaret Smalley Cartee in Buhl, Idaho. She attended Buhl Schools, graduating from Buhl High School in 1942.
During the war, she enrolled in nursing school in Berkley, California, but transferred to the radiology technology program that she liked better. She came home to Buhl before finishing the degree and married John Smithson in 1944. They had a son, Ronald John, before divorcing.
Latha married the love of her life, Doyle Laval Wood, in the Buhl Methodist Church on May 21, 1950. Due to a lack of available work, they moved to the Southern California area just before Christmas of that same year where Doyle worked as an electrician for many years. While in California, they had a daughter, Carlynn Ann, and a son, Leonard Doyle. Latha and Doyle were very active with several trap shooting associations, competing in local, state and regional competitions. In November of 1978, after the children moved out of the area, they sold their house in Torrance and moved back to Buhl.
Doyle and Ron opened Wood Electric Service where Latha provided the office support that the business required. Coming home to Buhl also gave them the opportunity to have horses which they enjoyed riding with friends and even won the team trophy at the Bigfoot rides 2 years in a row. Some of their best times were working cows in the Hill City/Camas Prairie areas.
Latha joined the Buhl Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star in January of 1982, where she was Martha for many years. She was also a member of Daughters of the Nile Ella Club and Garnet Court Order of the Amaranth. She participated in many activities in these Masonic related organizations as long as her health allowed. She was also very active in organizing many of the Class of 42 Buhl High School reunions.
Latha lost her husband of over 50 years in January 2006, then became s frequent attendee at the luncheon and social functions of the Buhl Senior Citizen Center where she enjoyed many friendships. In 2016, she suffered several health-related episodes resulting in the loss of her right leg necessitating a move to Evergreen Assisted Living Center where she spent the final 2+ years making new friends and receiving excellent care.
She leaves son, Ron (Diane) of Filer; daughter, Carlynn (Grady Dutton) of Mammoth Lakes, California; son, Lennie (Jean) of Chico, California; a brother, Joe Cartee of Buhl; 5 grandchildren, Jeri Lynn Wood, Chris Ann Greedy, Errol Zachary Smith, Lucas Spencer Dutton and Courtney Jean Wood and 6 great grandchildren.
Services will be held at 2:00p.m. Saturday, November 17, 2018 at Farmer Funeral Chapel in Buhl. A gathering will follow at the Buhl Senior Center to celebrate her life.
Saturday, November 17, 2018
Farmer Funeral Home
130 9TH AVE. NORTH
Buhl, Idaho 83316