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Former OKC Mayor Patience Latting lies in repose at city hall Thursday

Unprecedented memorial reflects the pioneer spirit of Patience Latting, the first woman to sit on the city council and the first elected mayor of a major U.S. city, her children said.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: January 3, 2013

Jim Latting was joined at city hall Thursday by his sisters, Nancy Spelman and Cynthia Weimer. Their father, Trimble Latting, died in 1996 and a fourth sibling, Francelia Wilson, died in 2007.

One of Latting's callers on Thursday said she brought her husband and two daughters up from McAlester to pay tribute to a woman she admired all her life.

Emily Burch Dunagin said she knew Latting all her life, having been a close friend to her daughter in high school.

“She would take us to the movies if we would agree to go back to her home and discuss the movie — and we did,” Dunagin said. “We would go back to her house and she'd have cookies and stuff and we'd discuss it.”

Bob Anthony, who serves on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, said he owes his public service career to Latting.

She was the one who encouraged him to run for his first political office — city council, he said.

They knew each other because her father was business partners with his grandfather, he said, and he later preceded her son as editor of the high school newspaper.

“I had never even been to city hall before I announced I was going to run,” Anthony said. “She believed, I think, in public service in the best sense of the word.”

Weimer said Thursday's unprecedented memorial at city hall reflected the legacy of her mother.

“It's in keeping with what she did her entire life — being a maverick, being a pioneer for women in general,” Weimer said. “She just continues to set it.”

Latting's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4400 N Shartel. has disabled the comments for this article.