Lawrence ‘Larry’ E. Locke / May 28, 1927-Nov. 6, 2009Published 7:10pm Friday, November 6, 2009
Lawrence E. Locke, 82, passed away at home in Niles after a brave battle against cancer.
Larry was born at home in Dowagiac on May 28, 1927.
The proud parents were the late Howard and Leota (Huff) Locke. Growing up, Larry attended several one-room schools and delivered the Grit newspaper.
In 1945 he graduated from Berrien Springs High School. Immediately after he joined the U.S. Navy. He had fond memories of sailing out of San Francisco under the Golden Gate Bridge. While stationed in the Pacific they ported in Hawaii and Guam.
After the Navy, Larry returned to Berrien Springs, and on Nov. 18, 1950, married the late Jane Wilson at the United Brethren Church. Larry worked as a machinist at Clark’s in Jackson, Mich. at this time. Around 1952, he was called back to the Navy, onboard the USS Bordelone DDR81. His tour of duty included the Mediterranean Sea, with stops in France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey, to name a few.
After his service to his country, he returned to his wife and they settled down in Berrien Springs. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Niles and welcomed their first-born son, Scott, to the world in 1954. Larry graduated in 1955 from Acme School of Tool and Design Engineering. 1957 was a very good year for Larry and his wife. They purchased a new home, new car and brought their second son, Richard, into the world.
Larry worked for several years as a design engineer at Tyler’s in Niles and Weldum in Bridgman. Around 1970 he formed a partnership, GKL Design Service, starting from his basement. Business prospered and he would later expand, employing several people. He continued in business for more than 20 years.
He loved the outdoors. Larry hunted both the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, fished and toured local museums and historical sites. In later years he enjoyed his flower garden, especially mums; playing euchre; and watching Notre Dame football and John Wayne videos.
He was a member of the Niles Police Auxiliary for more than 20 years. He was also a Mason, St. Joseph Valley 4 and member of the Niles American Legion Post. Larry attended the new Apostolic Church in Niles.
Larry was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary Jane; half-brothers, Wilbur and Lyle; and his parents and stepfather, Bill Frederick.
He is survived by sons, Scott, of Niles, and Richard (Nancy), of Ft. Mitchell; a brother, Ralph (Char), of Cincinnati; stepsister, Doris (Babe) Sallee, of Niles. Larry leaves 13 nieces and nephews, 13 great-nieces and nephews and four great-great-nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Goshen Cancer Center and Hospital, Lakeland Hospital-Niles, Lakeland Hospice and all the doctors and staff Larry visited.
Viewing is Monday, Nov. 9 at Allred Funeral Home, Berrien Springs, between 6 and 8 p.m.
Funeral services are Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. at Allred.