TRYON -- Lt. Colonel John Latta Law Jr US Army (Ret.), an army pilot died unexpectedly on March 5, 2020 at the age of 75 in Tryon N.C.
John was born on June 24, 1944 in Gaffney, SC. He attended Columbia, S.C. Schools graduating from Dreher High School in 1962. He then attended The Citadel, was a member of the Summerall Guards and graduated in 1966 with a BA HIST. John was trained as an Army helicopter pilot at Fort Rucker, Al. His army service spanned 1967-1973, serving in Vietnam from 1971-1972 as a CH-54 SkyCrane pilot. Decorations, medals and citations included National Defense and Army Service Ribbon Service Medal, Master Army Aviator Badge, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, Expert pistol. After Vietnam he served as an officer of S.C. National Bank from 1973 to 1983 in the international division. He then returned to duty as an officer in the S.C. Army National Guard at McEntire Joint Air Base from 1974 until his retirement in 2004. Not ready to give up flying yet, he worked for Providence Health Hospital in Columbia, S.C. in the air ambulance service until 2006.
John loved sailing, second only to his love of flying. He flew gliders and played golf whenever he could. He loved the mountains, to where he retired in 2016 in Tryon N.C. John was central to the successes of the Save Hwy. 108 and Hwy 108 Scenic Byway Projects. His high principles, philosophies, love, and achievements live on in the hearts of all he touched. He will be sorely missed.
John is survived by his wife, Claudia Lucy Law from Tryon, N.C.; his sons and daughters-in-law, Stephen and Carrie Law of Spartanburg, S.C.; McIver and Stacey Law of Greenville, S.C.; 3 grandchildren, Clay, Owen, and Eloise; his stepdaughters, Lauren Smith of Seattle, Wash. and Shelley Smith of Brooklyn, N.Y.; his sister and brother-in-law, Florence Law Attridge and Byron Attridge of Atlanta, Ga.; his nieces, Lisa Attridge Songy of Atlanta and Anne Attridge Utt of Raleigh, N.C.; his nephew Byron Attridge Jr. of Austin, Tx; nephew, Claude Fleetwood Latham; his former wife and lifelong friend, Nancy Law of Columbia, S.C. John was predeceased by his parents, John Latta and Florence Elliott Moore Law, sister, Sally Law Latham and nephew, Edwin Kelley Latham, Jr.
A military funeral honors service will be held at McFarland Funeral Chapel in Tryon, N.C. at 2:00 p.m. on March 10, 2020 conducted by the Polk County Veterans Memorial Honor Guard.
In honor of his life of service, John will be buried at The Citadel with full honors, to be announced at a later date, thereby allowing long-distance family members to attend.
A celebration of life will follow at the home, 245 Pacolet Ridge Lane, Tryon.
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