EAST LIVERPOOL - Margaret Mary Heckel Locke, a well-known and beloved community leader who, along with her husband, Jim, owned and operated James Locke Jewelers, Inc. since its establishment in 1955, passed away early Saturday morning, July 20, 2013, at the Calcutta Health Care Center. Margaret, who was three weeks away from her 92nd birthday, was surrounded by her loving family at the time of her death.
Margaret's engaging personality and her natural love of people endeared her to everyone with whom she came into contact. She was a familiar figure in downtown East Liverpool as was the building which housed the jewelry store, one of the most successful businesses in the city's history.
Margaret was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on August 11, 1921, the only child of Harry H. Heckel and Margaret Conlin Heckel. With her parents, she moved to Wellsville while in early elementary school and was a 1939 graduate of Wellsville High School.
Following her marriage to James A. Locke, Jr. on September 13, 1940, she remained in the area while her husband was serving with the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Ten years after Jim's return from the service, they established their jewelry store, where Margaret was vice president and secretary, and served as president since 2003. A Registered Jeweler with the American Gem Society, she was happiest when she was working alongside her beloved "Jim". Margaret was an enthusiastic supporter of the East Liverpool area, which she loved and passionately carried in her heart in all she did and everywhere she went.
Margaret was a ready volunteer for projects that served the greater good of the community, her church, and her many lifelong friends. A charter member of the Tri-State Pottery Festival Association, Margaret was also a trustee emerita of the East Liverpool History Society, a member of the Business and Professional Women's Club and a past president of the Quota Club. She was named as one of the "Top 100 Notable Citizens" in the tri-state area in 2003, and was one of the chairpersons to bring Santaland and white lighting for Christmas to the downtown. Margaret originated the Plate Turners' Society and began the "Pudlian" Dictionary. She also contributed writings to the Potters Handbook of the Festival, many times using a local, traveling frog named "Pud." In recognition of their community service, Margaret, along with her husband, Jim, was inducted into the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in 2001.
Margaret was a member of the First United Methodist Church, where she had belonged to the church choir, and was actively involved with the Crusaders Class and the Tuesday Morning Bible Study. She spent countless hours refurbishing the church's library, supporting the preservation of church and community history. Previously, she was a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, its Canticle Choir and Service Guild.
Now reunited, Margaret and Jim were married for over sixty years before he passed away on September 30, 2003. They were the parents of two sons: James A. Locke III, and his wife, Susan, of Rochester, NY; and Keith E. Locke and his wife, Linda, of Belmont, NC.
Margaret was extremely proud of her three grandchildren: Kerry Locke Bedard and her husband, David, of Wellesley, MA; Wendy Locke Garrity and her husband, David, of Moseley, VA; and James A. Locke IV of Rochester, NY; along with her great-grandchildren: Kady and Ellie Bedard; and Mikey, Grace and Lauren Garrity.
Friends may visit at the Dawson Funeral Home on Friday, July 26, where the family will be present from 4 to 8 p.m.
Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, at the First United Methodist Church, Fifth and Jackson Streets, East Liverpool, with Margaret's pastor, Dale Sutton, officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery, after which time friends and family will gather for lunch and a time of fellowship at the Dawson Family Center.
Those wishing to do so may make a memorial contribution to the First United Methodist Church, 200 West Fifth Street, East Liverpool, OH 43920; the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association, 216 East Fourth Street, East Liverpool, OH 43920; or the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame, 120 East Fifth Street, East Liverpool, OH 43920.
The family wishes to acknowledge the loving care shown to Margaret over the past several months by Marilyn Trares, Roberta Pennybaker, Dave and Shirley Marshall, and Mary Ellen Billie; the wonderful staff at East Liverpool City Hospital, Crossroads at Beaver Creek, Nentwick Convalescent Center, and Calcutta Health Care Center; her caring physician, Dr. Kamlesh Aggarwal; pastoral support from Pastor Dale Sutton and Rev. Dr. Steve Cramer; and, the special colleagues of James Locke Jewelers, Inc. throughout the years.
"Those we love are never far away or hard to find. We love you, ever and always."
View Margaret's memorial webpage and send condolences to the family online at www.dawsonfuneralhome.com