Anita Lathan

January 13, 1942 - June 8, 2018
Anita Lathan

Anita McNeill Lathan, after a courageous battle with cancer, age 76, passed away on June 8th, 2018. She was the daughter of Neill C. McNeill and Ella Mae Kiser McNeill of Lincolnton, N.C.

Anita is survived by her husband and best friend Jerry Fields Lathan, their daughter Kelly Lathan Fort, favorite son in law John L. Fort and her two beautiful and wonderful granddaughters Bailey McNeill Fort and Raigan Fields Fort.

She graduated from Lincolnton High School and Catawba College with degrees in psychology and sociology.

Thirty years of her life was spent working with Services for the Blind in Butner, Raleigh, and Wilmington. She was a teacher, a work adjustment counselor, a placement specialist, and field counselor. She was awarded the J Marshall Parham Award for outstanding job performance placing legally blind and blind clients into gainful employment.

Since her retirement her focus has been on family and friends. She has enjoyed partying with and working with other crafters, knitting, crocheting, and basic crafts. She called herself the accidental artist. She was involved in many social groups that participated together weekly. She was also known as the scrubby queen. Her loves were her husband, her exceptional daughter and two very special grand girls.

She has developed many friendships through her life and all of her friends were very special to her. She started several Mexican Trains groups, played Mah-jongg and other games with her many wonderful friends. She was always happiest when surrounded by  her family and friends.

She had a unique sense of humor and she loved joking with her family and friends. Her favorite saying was, “ Meet all challenges with determination and humor.”

Anita said  “I want to thank my family and friends for all the support and love through cards, visits and calls helping me to survive this past year ! No one is as lucky as I am to have such love from family and friends.”


A memorial service will be held at 2 pm, Friday June 22nd at Kenan Chapel in Landfall, 510 Arboretum Drive, Wilmington, NC.

A reception will follow immediately after memorial service at Seapath Towers, 322 Causeway Dr., Wrightsville Beach, NC.

In Lieu of flowers Anita asked for donations to her favorite Charity. Indo Jax Surf School (Visually impaired surf camp, specifically)

Share memories and condolence with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403  910-791-9099

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  • June 12, 2018
    Roger,Becky McLamb says:
    Kelley,John,Raigan and Bailey. We are so sorry for your loss. Praying for you guys.

  • October 09, 2018
    Bill and Donna DeLage says:
    We met on a river cruise and at that time Anita and Jerry boarded our train of life. Though our time together was short Anita entered our hearts. As we know there is a reason people board your train. The memories of Anita will always be in our heart. Thank You for enriching our life.

  • June 22, 2018
    Anne Russell/Howard Garriss says:
    A wonderful woman, wonderful family, the best. How lucky, Kelly, to have Raigan and Baily for her to enjoy, and a good father for her grandchildren.

  • June 22, 2018
    Hongjin Bian says:
    I am so lucky to know Anita soon after I moved here. Of course she approached me as she did to so many new comers. She connected people together and was loved by so many. She had a warm heart and an amazing courage. We all need to learn from her and to realize that life is not that hard if you have a good attitude. Cancer cells damaged many parts of her body but never took her brain and heart away. She was sharp and witty to the end. We miss you so much, our hearts hurt. RIP. Prayers to Jerry, Kelly, John, Bailey and Raigen.

  • June 22, 2018
    Jeffrey Lippincott says:
    Just learned of Anita's passing. Anita, Jerry, and Kelly we're a part of my life growing up as a child as Jerry and my father were business partners. I'll always remember sharing expo trips for the business with them, Atlanta, New Orleans, etc. She always kept me and Kelly on our toes while on those trips. Sorry for your loss Jerry and Kelly.