Stuart Lathrop Stuart Lathrop

Stuart Lathrop, son of Rhetta (MacNeill) and Eli B. Lathrop died peacefully in his home Tuesday April 17, surrounded by his loving family. Stu was born two weeks before the stock market crash of 1929. A graduate of Quakertown High School class of 1947 and Charles Morris Price School of Advertising and Journalism Temple University 1958. He served his country in the U.S Army 2nd Platoon as Master Sargent during the Korean Conflict 1950- 1952.

His career began at M.S. Young and then C.Y. Shelly and Bros. Wholesale Hardware Distributor of Allentown where he rose to Sales Manager. He became Business Manager of Nu Way Wholesale and Hardware Distributors in Kuhnsville. Stu was a past Secretary Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Wholesale Hardware Association. He worked for J.P.McGouldrik Associates Wholesale Inc. before becoming a Pennsylvania State Fire Marshall for the Allentown State Hospital with twenty years of service before his retirement in 1998.

Stu served the community in many capacities. He was the Founding Father and first President of the Union Historical Fire Society which began in 1975, and writer of The Register, the organization's newsletter. The U.H.F.S. is an organization of people from all backgrounds and employments with an interest in the history and preservation of fire service, such as collectors, historians, authors, restorers, modelers and students, to name a few. The Society plans events and functions for members whether paid or volunteer, buffs, researchers, flea marketers, etc., active or retired regardless of which phase of the Fire Service History their interests lie. The U.H.F.S. raises money donated to the Lehigh Valley Hospital Burn Unit.

Stu began and organized the Annual "Spring Thaw" Firefighter Antique Marketplace Auction and Flea Market held yearly in Agricultural Hall at the Allentown Fairgrounds, a tradition that still continues for the U.H.F.S. He organized numerous fire apparatus "musters" including the "Allentown Fair Firefighters Bicentennial Celebration" - the largest and most successful event to that day for the Fair, the "Great Eastern Firefighters Spectacular" and the "Dorney Park Fire Fighter Competition."

Stu was a Fourth Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, a national charitable and service organization within the Catholic Church. He served as past Secretary and Deputy Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus Calvary Council of Allentown.

Other areas of community leadership: At the Allentown Lions Club, he served as Program Chairman, and Director, before becoming President. Under his direction, the club grew to be the largest in PA. He was past Director of the Jr. Chamber of Commerce. He was Secretary Treasurer at the Pennsylvania Whaldorf Support Association. He was a member of the International Society of Fire Instructors, and a member of the Mayflower Descendants Society.

Stu was an avid fire-fighting memorabilia collector, and at one time, had one of the largest collections on the East Coast. One of his favorite items in his collection was his 1929 American LaFrance fire engine that he successfully restored and won National Senior 1st Prize.

He was known for his quick, funny sense of humor, clever problem-solving skills and devotion to his family. He was an avaricious reader of the Morning Call Newspaper and a lover of all things related to steam trains. Stu passed away 3 weeks before his 61st wedding anniversary.

Stu is survived by his wife, Marie, 2 sons Joseph (wife Carrie) and Philip, and daughter Mary Katharine (husband Douglas Martin). Grandchildren: Matthew, Victoria and Emily Lathrop.

Calling hours will be held at the Trexler Funeral Home, 1625 W. Highland St., Allentown, PA 18102 on Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 801 N. 11th St. on Friday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. with a calling hour starting at 9:30 a.m. in the church. Internment following at Resurrection Cemetery.

Donations may be made in Stuart's name to the Union Historical Fire Society c/o Trexler Funeral Home. 1625 Highland St. Allentown, Pa 18102.

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