Three days after Navy veteran and former General Motors employee Thomas S. Lattomus died in a boating accident in Racine last weekend, his daughter Julie Yuhas died of lung and brain cancer.
The family will be holding a memorial service for both of them Monday.
The Racine County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 6 found the body of an 80-year-old Janesville man in the water at the Racine Yacht Club on Lake Michigan.
James Whitcomb, one of the owners of Whitcomb-Lynch Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Janesville, confirmed Thomas was the man who “died unexpectedly in a boating accident,” according to his obituary.
Then on Tuesday, Julie, 57, of Beloit, died as well.
She had two sons, Michael and Andrew Clift, and was married for eight years to her husband, Ray.
Ray and Julie enjoyed camping, fishing and boating together.
“Julie also loved our home very much, which now seems empty without her here,” Ray wrote in her obituary. “She also went with me when I played horseshoes at the UAW Hall. We had many friends there. Julie will be missed by all of us.”
Thomas died where his passion stayed in life. Family and friends from the Racine Yacht Club would join him on “cruising excursions.”
Thomas liked teaching the next generation of sailors.
“His true passion was sailing,” his obituary states.
Thomas liked carpentry and handy work at his Janesville and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, homes. He is survived by his wife of more than 58 years, Michal Loree, and a son, also named Thomas Lattomus, of Centreville, Virginia.
Thomas was born in Wilmington, Delaware, in 1938, and went to Penn State University on a ROTC scholarship, according to his obituary. When he graduated, he became an ensign in the U.S. Navy and served in active duty on the USS Dupont.
Thomas served in the Navy Reserve for 30 years. In 1991, he retired as a commander at the Great Lakes Naval Station.
Outside his Navy work, Thomas started at GM at the Boxwood Plant in his Delaware hometown. In 1968, he was promoted to work in GM’s central office in Detroit.
Thomas came to the Janesville plant after another promotion in 1972.
After he retired from there, he worked in management with Lear Seating Company and Isuzu Motors. Thomas also taught graduate-level night classes.
“Following his retirement from the Janesville plant Thomas continued to attend and enjoy the camaraderie of the Wednesday GM luncheon group,” his obituary states.