Passing of a Legend: William J. Latzko 1928 -2018

photo: William J. LatzkoIt is with great regret that we announce the passing of William J. Latzko. Bill was one of the founding members of the NY/NJ Metropolitan Section and will be missed. Bill left us on October 23, a few days shy of his 90th birthday.

William J Latzko, Ph.D., 89, Died on October 23, 2018 from complications of prostate cancer at Englewood Hospital, Englewood, New Jersey. He had been a resident of West New York, North Bergen and Teaneck, New Jersey. He was born October 28, 1928 in Rheydt, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1939. He attended Fordham University, where he was Captain of the Fencing Team, and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1950. MBA, Rutgers University, 1956; Rutgers ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, 1978; Doctor of Philosophy, Kennedy-Western University, 2000. He is a member of Delta Pi Sigma and Beta Gamma Sigma.

He served as a first lieutenant United States Army Chemical Corps 1950-1953, Korea, earning a bronze star and unit combat citation for service under fire. He was a Life Member of the American Legion.

Dr Latzko began his commercial career as a chemical engineer at US Testing, progressing to a plant management position at the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company, followed by Director of Quality Control at Mundet Cork Corp until moving to become Director Management Science at CBS’s Columbia Record Company, New York City, until 1970. Vice President, Quality, Irving Trust Company, 1970-1983. He retired from banking and founded Latzko Associates, a management consultancy specializing in quality issues. In 1986 he published his first book, “Quality and Productivity for Bankers and Financial Managers (Quality and Reliability)”

In 1987, Dr. Latzko became an Adjunct Professor of Management Systems at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business. He received the Bene Merenti medal in 2007. He retired in 2016. He also taught at Columbia University and George Washington University.

Dr. Latzko was a Fellow of the American Society for Quality. A certified quality engineer, he was actively involved with the NJ/NJ Metropolitan Section of the ASQ, where he was section chair from 1976-1978 and again from 1999-2000. He received the Ellis R Ott award in 1984. Instrumental in the creation of the W Edwards Deming Award for quality, he received it in 1996. He was the author of more than twenty published papers on management quality. A long time associate of Dr W Edwards Deming, Dr. Latzko helped in Deming’s work with his clients and at many four-day Deming seminars. He was one of the few people in the world recognized by Deming as a ‘master’. He has applied Deming’s theory of management to help both government and companies affect a transformation or be well underway toward this goal. In 1993 Dr Latzko with his co-author wrote the definitive analysis of Dr Deming’s widely recognized Four Day seminar, the aptly titled “Four Days with Dr. Deming: A Strategy for Modern Methods of Management”

Dr. Latzko was a lifetime member of the American Philatelic Society, receiving his 50 year pin in 2017. For over 25 years, he has been a member of the Royal Philatelic Society London. He was a long time member of the Collectors Club of New York City. His last publication before his death was in the summer of 2018 regarding the stamps of Stellaland.

Bill Latzko was on the Board of Directors for the United States Fencing Association (previously Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA)) 1954-1986, member executive committee, 1964-1986, national secretary, 1964-1972, national treasurer, 1982-1986. Cadre member of the United States Olympic fencing team, 1968, 1972. Board of Directors United States modern pentathlon, San Antonio, 1960-1965. He and his wife, Constance “Connie “Latzko, helped run fencing competitions from the local to the international level. As a judge with the Federation International d’Escrime, he officiated at many international fencing competitions at all levels including Modern Pentathlons, World Championships, and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Married to his beloved wife Connie from 1950 until her passing in 2014. He is survived by his daughter Victoria, his son Alexander, six grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Those who wish may donate in Bill’s name to Peter Westbrook Foundation

3 thoughts on “Passing of a Legend: William J. Latzko 1928 -2018”

  1. Bill was a mentor and a friend.  He forgot more about Quality than I will ever learn.  I will miss his incredible but true stories and his terrific sense of humor.  He was the most interesting man in the world!  My wife and I will miss him.

  2. It was an honor to meet Bill and a pleasure working with him in the membership committee!
    I have learned a lot from him and I will always value his great mind!
    RIP Bill and we will miss you greatly in our ASQ NY/NJ section.
    Ciro Casimiro

  3. I can’t say enough about his contributions to the Metro Section in particular and ASQ as a whole. He was always ready to help others.We are going to miss him.
    Satish Laroia

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