L. Wade Lathram, 83, a retired Foreign Service officer whose overseas posts included India, Turkey, Vietnam and South Korea, where he was deputy chief of mission, died of respiratory failure April 15 at Inova Alexandria Hospital.
Mr. Lathram joined the Foreign Service in 1952 and retired in 1974. His Washington assignments included director of regional affairs for the Near East and South Asia bureau of the State Department and director of personnel for the Agency for International Development.
Mr. Lathram, a resident of Falls Church, was born in Dothan, Ala., and grew up in Ohio. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio and received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Cincinnati. He received a law degree from George Washington University.
In 1941 he moved to Washington to work in the office of the civilian personnel division of the secretary of war. He was in the Army Air Forces during World War II. Later he was director of management in the Department of the Interior.
His federal honors included Distinguished Service Awards from the Department of the Army for his service in Vietnam, and from the Department of the Interior and the Agency for International Development.
In retirement, Mr. Lathram and his wife, Mary, sponsored two Cambodian refugees, Neang Om and Sokhan Hing, who lived with them as members of their family.
During this period, Mr. Lathram also did foreign affairs management consulting and lectured at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. He was a member of Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired.
He was treasurer of the Memorial Society of Northern Virginia and a charter member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington.
In addition to his wife, of Falls Church, survivors include four children, Thomas, Steven, and David, all of California, and Elizabeth Gillespie of New York; seven grandchildren; and a great grandchild.
THE WASHINGTON POST, 18 Apr 2000