Keith E. Locke, 75, passed into eternal rest surrounded by love on November 27, 2021. Keith is survived by his wife, Linda Casser Locke. Keith is also survived by his brother, James A. Locke, III (Susan), his nieces Kerry Locke Bedard (David) and Wendy L. Garrity (Dave) and their families, his nephew James A. Locke, IV, his mother – Carolyn L. Casser’s in-laws, aunts, one uncle, cousins ââand step-cousins, three godchildren and their families, and many dear friends. Born October 29, 1946 in East Liverpool, OH, Keith was predeceased by his parents, James A. Locke, Jr., and Margaret H. Locke, who were community leaders and owners of James Locke Jewelers in East Liverpool, who was a source of great pride and personal commitment for Keith. Keith was a proud alumnus of the East Liverpool High School class in 1964.
Keith graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in German. He sang tenor in the OWU choir, played trumpet in the jazz band, and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Beginning in 1968, during the Vietnam War, Keith served his country for three years as a special agent in charge of the United States military, military intelligence, in Munich and Berchtesgaden, Germany. After his military service, Keith continued his education and obtained a Master of Arts in German in 1972, which was awarded to him jointly by Middlebury College in Vermont and Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet in Mainz, Germany. Keith was an adjunct faculty member in the mid-1990s, teaching German at Butler University and Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).
Keith began a Doctor of Philosophy program in Comparative Literature at Indiana University in 1973. After completing two theses and overcoming logistical challenges, Keith proudly received his PhD from IU in 1992. Keith was ahead of the curve on his time to successfully complete his doctorate while employed in the business world, and he was also an early adopter of technology despite skepticism at the time about the role of computers in writing of university theses. Keith was a role model for demonstrating the value of integrating the humanities into business through his acceptance into a mini-MBA program at New York University in 1978 sponsored by a National Humanities Grant. He went on to have a very successful business career, including leadership roles in sales and marketing (director of sales and marketing for Sun Chemical Corporation; director of sales and marketing for Mansur Development Corporation); business consulting, business coaching and strategic planning (Keith founded Market Planning Consultants); and teleconferencing. Keith completed his business career with distinction in 2013 as President and CEO of TelSpan, Inc. For 6 years Keith was part-time Patient Coordinator for International Optometry Programs at the University of Salus. ; he held a similar position for the Salus Veterans Readiness Initiative pilot clinic. Keith was a teacher in life and in business. He was intellectually curious; an avid reader of philosophy, Christianity and biographies; a wonderful and thoughtful writer; and, he enjoyed healthy debates on a wide range of topics. Keith has applied his business acumen to several leadership roles in neighborhood associations, remembered for his dedication, professionalism and achievement of positive results.
Keith met the love of his life, Linda, at Indiana University in 1975. Married in 1982, they spent 39 years together enjoying national and international trips, attending cultural events (theater, symphony , ballet, opera), enjoy food and drink, get together with family and friends, watch college football (Go Bucks!) and cheer on NCAA basketball games (March Madness). Keith also enjoyed downhill skiing, biking and hiking, and beautifying our homes with his passion for gardening and nature. Keith and Linda have had a very close, loving and supportive relationship, and Linda is the forever grateful recipient of Keith’s unconditional love and support. The opportunities to live and travel in different geographic locations have resulted in the development of deep, precious and lasting friendships for both of them with people from all over the country and even the world. Keith is remembered by all who knew and loved him as a friendly, cheerful, caring, humble and intelligent man who displayed strong faith and touched many people with his work, interests and his activities. Keith was an active member of the Presbyterian Church and had previously been ordained an elder. Keith is already deeply missed by his family and friends, especially his “true love” Linda.
A service to celebrate Keith’s life will be held at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 5, 2021, with Reverends Sam Warner and Daria Ragan officiating at First Presbyterian Church, 102 South Central Avenue, Belmont, NC 28012. The service will be broadcast live on the church’s website www.fpc-belmont.org. Interment with military honors will follow at Evergreen A Quiet Place Cemetery in Belmont. Family will receive friends one hour before the service in the assembly area of ââthe church. Family members and friends from out of town are encouraged to return to church for a post-burial mourning meal.
For their wonderful care and support, Keith’s family sincerely thank the ministers and members of the First Presbyterian Church, Belmont, North Carolina, including the Men’s Fellowship and Men’s Breakfast groups; the compassionate providers of Holy Redeemer Home Hospice; and, nurses and doctors at Fox Chase Cancer Center. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made at First Presbyterian Church Belmont, NC at www.fpc-belmont.org, Holy Redeemer Home Hospice https://www.redeemerhealth.org/giving/memorial-donation Designation: Redeemer Health PA Hospice, or to a charity chosen by the donor.
Keith’s condolences and memories can be shared at www.McLeanFuneral.com. McLean Funeral Directors of Belmont serves the Locke family.