“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” —Henry Adams
John David Lathrop crossed over on August 5, 2020 at the age of 85. The youngest of three sons, John was born to Harold and Bessie Lathrop in Hagerman, New Mexico on December 4, 1934. The family moved to Elida, New Mexico in 1936, where he nurtured a love of singing and athletics prior to attending college.
After completing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business at Eastern New Mexico University, John worked for several large corporations before feeling called to pursue something more meaningful. He returned to ENMU to obtain a teaching certificate, after which he began a teaching career that spanned more than 50 years, beginning with a year at Roswell Community College and continuing in Hobbs at New Mexico Junior College. A multi-talented man, he taught courses in economics, accounting, finance and other business-related disciplines, along with many years of ceramics classes. It is a testament to his love of sharing knowledge with others that at many points over the years, even his wife, daughter, son and daughter-in-law all enrolled in courses he taught at NMJC. He had many repeat students over the decades, often teaching multiple generations within families.
John was a gifted artist across many mediums. Beginning with a flair for finely tooled leatherwork in his youth, he would eventually also become known as a highly skilled lapidary artist and an exceptionally accomplished silversmith. In the early 1970s he took his first ceramics courses and pottery soon became the creative outlet about which he was most passionate and would earn him the most recognition. It was often observed that he had the patience and attention to detail to try anything for the first time and do it remarkably well.
John is survived by Caroll— his wife of 51 years, daughter Jamey and son-in-law John of Albuquerque, son Todd and daughter-in-law Holly of Hobbs and their sons Kenyan and Logan, and his brother James of Monrovia, CA.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to New Mexico Junior College Foundation.