My mother passed away on May 5, 2017. Words cannot describe the pain in losing your mother just before mothers day. Below I am posting links to her online obituary, the text of her eulogy, a link to her tribute website, and a tribute video I created for her.
Click here to go to Annlatman.com
Below is the text of Ann Lorraine Latman’s Eulogy:
Ann Lorraine Latman Eulogy, May 12, 2017
The children of Ann Lorraine Latman, Norman Gregory Fernandez, her son, and Debbie Louise Fernandez, her daughter, have asked me to tell you about the life of their mother Ann Lorraine Latman.
Ann Lorraine Latman, was born on July 22, 1944, in Los Angeles, California, to Nathan & Elsie Latman. Ann was the youngest of three children.
She has an older Brother named Barry Latman, and an older sister named Carolee Latman, who later after getting married, changed her name to Carolee Kish.
Ann has two children, Norman Gregory Fernandez and Debbie Fernandez. Ann has three grandchildren, Carolee Fernandez, Elsie Chacon, and Jacob Fernandez. Ann has two great grandchildren Nathan and Isabella Chacon.
When Ann was a young school girl, she started collecting dolls from all over the world. She would write letters to the leaders of countries from all over the world asking them if they send her a doll and many, if not most of them, in response would send her letters and dolls.
When she wrote a letter to Nakita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, in the 1950’s a time when the Soviet Union was a bitter enemy of the United States, and the Soviet leader actually sent her a letter and a doll, it made real waves.
I am quite certain that it caught the attention of the FBI as well, we will never know.
It was such a major deal in the 1950’s that the leader of the Soviet Union sent a young Jewish American school girl named Ann Latman, a doll, that the newspapers, and a major magazine picked up the story and published it.
You will see some of the pictures of Ann’s world class doll collection featured in her tribute video that is scrolling here.
When Ann was a teenager, she was run over by a car.
The car tire ended up on top of her body after the accident, and it took some time before they could lift the car off of her.
It was a miracle from God that she was not killed in the accident. She was told after the accident that she would never have children.
Obviously, god ensured that that prediction was not accurate. However, due to the accident, Ann had pain in her body throughout her life.
Ann’s father passed away while she was young and her big brother Barry became a father figure to her.
Ann graduated from Fairfax High School in Hollywood, CA in 1962. She shortly thereafter married Gilbert Fernandez. They had two kids, Norman and Debbie.
Ann loved her family. She idolized her big brother Barry, and looked up to her big sister Carolee.
Ann, being the youngest of Elsie Latman’s children, was real close to her mother and her sister Carolee.
Barry was off playing baseball in the major leagues, but after he retired from baseball, Ann became close to him as well.
Ann told her children Norman and Debbie tales of her family all through their childhood.
She told her children about her brother Barry who was a star Pitcher in Major League Baseball, about her sister Carolee who was the first woman butcher at Safeway markets, she told her children about cousin Raymond who was fighting in Vietnam, her cousin Julian who was an attorney and she told her kids about her mom Elsie’s sisters, Tessie, Bettie, Lee, and Elaine.
The greatest joy in Ann’s life was family. When we were young, we remember constantly being at Aunt Carolee’s house.
Norman and Carolee’s son Mark Lawrence although cousin’s, basically grew up like brothers. Ann became like a 2nd mother to Mark, Carolee became like a 2nd mother to Norman and Debbie.
Mom made sure that we always made the rounds as children to all of our uncle’s and aunt’s houses, and that we spent time with our cousins.
We remember always visiting Barry and Lynn, Nat and Ricky, Aunt Elaine and Marla, Lori, Bruce, and Frank, Aunt Lee and her kids, Aunt Tessie up in the Hollywood Hills, Aunt Bettie and her kids, Aunt Ann and uncle Maury, and others. We had a very full childhood filled with love and family, our mom made sure of that.
Ann instilled in her children a sense of honor, to not lie, steal, or cheat.
Ann and her husband Gilbert are probably the most honest people you will ever meet in your life. Salt of the earth kind of people. Very humble, loving, and giving people.
Ann would literally give you the shirt off the back if she could.
Ann was the type of loving and dawdling mother that everyone would like to have. She was funny, direct, and instilled a sense of decency on us.
From as early as I can remember, my mother taught me what it was like to be Jewish. Although we are reformed Jewish, we are Jewish nonetheless. My mother made sure we knew what it was to be Jewish. She taught us about the Holocaust, she taught us songs, and taught us that we are among the chosen people.
My mother loved the holiday season. Although we were Jewish, my mother being a 2nd generation American, also integrated other holidays into our repertoire.
Growing up we not only had a menorah for Hanukkah, with our mother making sure we had Hanukkah gifts every year, but we also had a Christmas tree. We did not really know what Christmas was about, to us it was about the tree and Santa Claus. My mom also gave us Easter baskets and Easter eggs on Easter. We did not know what Easter was about, to us it was about a bunny and the eggs.
Basically, my mom loved to celebrate any holiday because it gave her an excuse to be the loving mother that she was. She always had presents for all the kids on Hanukkah, Easter, Christmas, you name it. She was the stereotypical mother when I came to giving gifts.
Ann also loved to prepare meals for her family. My mom made the best Thanksgiving dinner you could ever possibly want. She used her mother Elsie’s recipe for stuffing. My mom made Thanksgiving dinner, until she was physically unable to do it anymore, and then Debbie took over.
Although grandma Elsie was a fantastic cook who made homemade Verenicas, latkes, and matzo ball soup, my mom made one hell of a fried matzo breakfast. Her noodles and cottage cheese were not bad either. We loved our mother’s cooking it was from her heart.
My mom love being with her family more than anything in the world. Elsie Latman, our mother’s mom, always seemed to be at our house. Elsie Latman was like a 2nd mother to not only Norman and Debbie, but to also Mark as well. We were a close family.
Ann and her husband Gilbert always made sure that there was food on the table for their children, always provided Norman and Debbie with love and affection, and provided a good life to Norman and Debbie. They were not rich, but they always did the best they could.
In the 1970s, under the guidance of her brother Barry Latman, Ann, along with her husband Gilbert Fernandez, moved us up to San Francisco and started to business called Gil’s Hallmark card and gifts.
During this time in Ann’s life, she had a great time owning her own business, and being her own boss. Our mom loved to go with my dad to nice restaurants, and she loved Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.
Ann loved to play blackjack in Las Vegas probably more than anything else.
Although Ann loved San Francisco, she missed her family in Southern California.
Eventually in 1975 Ann and her family moved back to Southern California.
It was at this time that she became a marketing manager in a telephone sales company in Hollywood California. Ann literally had hundreds of people come through her company attempting to become salespeople, but few made it.
As the marketing manager in this telephone sales company, Ann used the moniker, Mary Nevins.
Ann had many future celebrities come to work for her in this company. She had Mickey Rourke, the band Poison, and many others come work for her before they made it as huge celebrities.
She would tell stories of people that are huge celebrities now begging her to keep their jobs, and offering to do crazy things in return. My mom loved her management job.
Ann would basically give anybody who could speak clearly a job, but if they did not make sales, they would be fired within a day or two.
Norman knows this well. Before he went into the military, he went to work for his mother, waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to drive to Hollywood, California to sell office supplies to the Midwest, and to the East Coast. Norman was fired by his mother after 2 days because he did not make any sales. It was a very difficult job. Some of her previous employees may be here today. She was loved by all that worked for her because she was a good person.
Many people were able to survive and pay their bills, because my mom gave them jobs in Hollywood during this time.
During this time of the 1970s, my mother, Ann, and her big sister Carolee, tried several business ventures together, including a knitting mill in Los Angeles. There were sweaters everywhere.
Finally, our mother and her sister Carolee decided to go into comedy, and formed a comedy group called “The embryo twins.” I remember them practicing their act all the time. A big part of their act was when one of them would sit on a whoopee cushion. When they did this, it made a loud farting sound, which made everybody laugh. My mom performed at the Comedy Store and other venues with her sister Carolee. She met Robin Williams, Gallagher, and other comedians who later became major celebrities.
Unfortunately, one weekend we were all at a pool party at Barry Latman’s house in Northridge California, and a couple of days later Carolee was found dead.
In the 1970s, when Ann’s big sister Carolee Kish passed away suddenly, it hit her very hard. It hit all of us hard. It hit Carolee’s son Mark the hardest obviously.
Ann never really recovered from the death of her sister, they were that close. For a time, Mark came to live us, but then went on his own way too young.
Unfortunately, with the death of her sister, Ann could not continue with the embryo twins, and her comedy career was over before it really began.
When the company that Ann worked for as a marketing manager went under, Ann experimented with other ways to earn a living.
She went into retail for a while, where she sustained a head injury that caused her to be permanently disabled and not able to work anymore.
When Carolee Fernandez, Ann’s son Norman’s daughter, suddenly stopped breathing in 1985 due to an illness, Ann came to the rescue and saved her life by grabbing her by the feet, holding her upside down, and patting her back until she started breathing. Ann was a hero.
A short time after Ann’s mother Elsie passed away suddenly. When Ann’s mother passed away it was utterly devastating for her, and she never fully recovered from it. She lost two of the most important people in her life.
Today with her passing, Ann will be reunited with her father Nathan, her mother Elsie, and her sister Carolee all of whom are interned here at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Ann will be laid to rest next to her sister Carolee and her mother Elsie.
In 1993, when Ann’s son Norman obtained custody of his daughters Carolee and Elsie, while he was in Law School, Ann without hesitation agreed to take them in and raise them as if they were her own daughters even though they are her grandchildren.
She raised them as great kids, to adulthood. Ann is for all intents and purposes the mother of Carolee Fernandez, and Elsie Chacon.
It is children and being a mother, that above all gave Ann the most satisfaction in life.
Ann cared very little for herself. Everything she did was for other people. Ann was a woman of very modest means, yet she always bought cloths and gifts for others, forsaking herself. She was always a giver.
When her daughter Debbie had a son named Jacob, Ann cared for him as an infant while Debbie was at work.
Words cannot describe how much Ann Lorraine Latman will be missed by those who knew her and loved her.
In the final years of her life, Ann had debilitating pain in her back and other serious health issues.
A few years ago, she suffered a stroke and almost died.
When she was unable to care for herself anymore, she lived in a skilled nursing facility.
When she was taken to the hospital in her final days, her final words before being put on a ventilator were her calling out for her mom, Barry, Carol, and Mark.
None of us realized just how sick she was.
Ann passed away on May 5, 2017, on the Sabbath, with her son Norman and her daughter Debbie by her side. A Rabbi came earlier in the evening and said the appropriate prayers.
Just before she passed Norman said the appropriate prayers.
Ann was 72 when she passed. She missed 73 by two months.
I believe that when a righteous and good person passes, god put clouds in the sky to signify the passing of a righteous and good person. This was true when our grandmother Elsie passed away, and this was true when our mother Ann Latman passed away. It was cloudy and rainy for two straight days after her passing, last week just after May 5. Usually it is sunny and hot in May.
We are all glad that you could make it here today to pay tribute to the life of our mom Ann Lorraine Latman. She may be in heaven now reuniting with her family and god, but she will never be forgotten by those who knew her. She lives on in her progeny now and hopefully to the end of time.
When you go outside today take a glance at the trees, the sky, and the beauty one last time for Ann Lorraine Latman, a righteous and good woman, whose spirit has now left this world, and reunited with the lord for eternity.
Thank You, Norman and Debbie.
Written by Ann Latman’s son Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., May 12, 2017
Below is a tribute video I made for my mom.
Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., May 13, 2017