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Rotary runs in this family

June 17, 1997

SAMANTHA KRULEWITZ

Staff Writer

The Latimer family has been involved with Rotary Clubs for at least 67 years.

John A. Latimer IV, 22, born and raised in Hagerstown, is a fourth-generation Rotarian. His father, John A. "Jack" Latimer III, and his grandfather, the late John A. Latimer Jr., attended Rotary Club meetings and charity functions.

The newest Rotarian from the Latimer family graduated from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Va., last June.

Since then he has had a very busy year. He got married in October, started a new job as a commercial account executive for Wright Gardner Insurance and was inducted into the Hagerstown Rotary Club in April.

"It seemed like the right thing to do," John Latimer said about joining the club. "I wanted to give something back to the community."

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He said he always enjoyed volunteering and helping out around town. In Rotary tradition, a prospective member has to wait for an opening in their career, termed classification by the club, and has to be introduced by a member before going through the induction process.

"My father approached me when I showed some interest," John Latimer said. "I, of course, said yes, so he sponsored me."

The process took two months after Jack Latimer, president and CEO of Jamison Door Co., introduced his son to the club.

"I'm very proud of the fact that he has returned to Hagerstown, has started his career and is also very interested in the community," said Jack Latimer, 46. "He has always been interested and I'm very glad."

Although John Latimer is a fourth-generation Rotarian, Jack Latimer said there was no special ceremony for his introduction in March. He was treated like any other member.

"I was pleased to say he was the fourth generation," Jack Latimer said.

Jack Latimer said the first Rotarian in the family was his grandfather, Dr. Charles Mowrer. Mowrer was a doctor in Hagerstown from 1920 to 1965, and a Rotarian from around 1930 to 1970.

Jack Latimer's father, John Latimer Jr., moved to Hagerstown from the Washington, D.C., area in 1948 and was a lawyer here until 1987.

However, John Latimer Jr. could not join the Hagerstown Rotary Club at first because there was already a lawyer in the club. So he joined the club in Hancock until a lawyer classification came open in Hagerstown in 1962, when he joined the club here.

Jack Latimer said his father started the Hagerstown Rotary Charitable Foundation in 1980. The foundation has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the community, he said. His father was president of the foundation in its first year and president of the Hagerstown Rotary Club from July 1971 to June 1972.

Following in tradition, Jack Latimer served as president of the foundation in 1994 and president of the club from 1988 to 1989.

John Latimer said he feels it is an honor to continue his family's tradition.

"I strive to become as active as they were," John Latimer said. "A goal one day would be to be president of the club."

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