Mary Linnea Franzen Latko

Mary Linnea Franzen Latko

Mary Linnea Franzen Latko, 86, died on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Buffalo, N.Y. She was born Dec. 17, 1931, in Jamestown, N.Y., to Carl and Ebba Franzen.

Mary graduated from Jamestown High School in 1949 and received her nursing degree from the University at Rochester School of Nursing.

Mary worked for more than 30 years in nursing, with the majority of her career spent with the VA Hospital in Buffalo. She retired from there in the mid-1990s.

In November 1960, Mary married Felix “Phil” Latko in Phoenix, Ariz. They also lived in California for several years, before returning to the Western New York area in the early 1970s to be closer to family.

Mary was proud of her Swedish heritage and made several trips to Sweden as a teenager and an adult. She was fluent in Swedish and enjoyed both speaking and singing the language. She regularly corresponded with her relatives in Sweden. She was thrilled to attend a Norden Club dinner for the King of Sweden during his October 2011 visit to Jamestown, N.Y.

Mary’s interests included baking, gardening, bird watching, caring for her cats, visiting Jamestown and Chautauqua Lake and visits to Steve and Beth’s cottage at Bear Lake in recent years.

She was an active member of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church and helped organize many of the Swedish events there, including the Swedish Festival.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents. She was survived by her husband, Felix; her two children: Stephen (Beth) Latko of Grand Island, N.Y., and Robert Latko of Minnesota; a sister, Nancy (H. Ronald) Carlson of Lakewood; as well as several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life service was held Jan. 6, 2018, at Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Memorials can be made to the Erie County SPCA, 300 Harlem Road, West Seneca, NY 14224; or the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3143 Eggert Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150.