Nature 28

Lena Belle Cray-Latterner

June 14, 1924 ~ August 31, 2021 (age 97)


Lena Belle Cray-Latterner died peacefully in her home Tuesday evening, August 31, 2021. She was born June 14, 1924, in Kalamazoo, MI a daughter of the late Clarence E. and Edrie Ethel (Slater) Cook and had been a lifelong area resident. Lena Belle attended Kalamazoo Central High School and worked for Kal-Equip Company. After retiring she volunteered her time at the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Kalamazoo for about 20 years. Her main love was taking care of people. Lena Belle was involved in taking care of all the children in the neighborhood. She liked to knit, crochet, and sew and loved making mittens, doilies, quilts, dolls, and toy animals for friends and family. Lena Belle was a member of Northwest United Methodist Church and a member of the West Oshtemo Grange for over 65 years. Lena Belle married Earl E. Cray on February 28, 1942, who preceded her in death October 11, 1994. She married Robert L. Latterner on October 15, 2005, and he preceded her in death on May 3, 2021. Lena Belle was also preceded in death by two children, John Cray, and Beverly Wiersma; two grandchildren, Cathy Verhey, and Anthony Goldsmith; two great-grandchildren, Brittany Whaley, and Thomas Pickard; and four siblings. She is survived by her children, Marilyn (David) Goldsmith, Nancy (Tom) Pickard, and Dawn Barkley; stepchildren, Tom (Jackie) Latterner, Lois Hicks, John Latterner, and Kay (Lance) Gilman; eleven grandchildren; twenty-one great-grandchildren; ten great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. A memorial service is being planned. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 3926 S 9th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. To view Lena Belle's personalized web page, please visit


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