Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Life in Pictures

Ray Lee Locke was born 27 December 1919 at Portland, Multnomah, Oregon.

He was raised by his father, Joel Shirley Locke in Tacoma, Pierce, Washington. His mother, Dorothy Alice Procter, lived in Portland. His parents divorced when he was about five years old.

As a young person, Ray was popular and active in school events at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. He didn't like to dance, but he was a great roller skater. There used to be a photo of him on skates. He was holding a girl by her ankles and swinging her around. Too bad we can't find that picture. We will have to make do with the motorcycle photo.

He is the "big eye" person in our family tree. Ray had black hair and brown eyes. He was just five feet four inches tall.

Ray married Betty Jane Boucher on 20 April 1941 at Kent, King, Washington. They were married by a minister friend of Ray's. He was always active in church groups as well as at school.

Ray worked at the shipyards for a time, but eventually enlisted in the Army during World War II. He served in the Philippines, and in Japan.

When Ray returned home, he worked for the Post Office, first as a clerk, and then as a supervisor and route manager. He loved animals and always had a dog or two. He is with his father in this picture.

Ray and Betty had two children, Judith and Richard. This photo was taken in 1957.
It was an important year because the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This particular Thanksgiving, the missionaries who taught our family were guests for dinner. Ray and Betty learned about the church because two missionaries stopped by the house. Normally, they would not have found them home, but Judy and Dick were having their tonsils removed, so they were home that day. That was the beginning of several months association with the Elders. As a family, we were all baptized on 1 June 1957.

This picture was taken in 1959 when the family drove to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the temple and be united as an eternal family. It was a big trip, and an important one.

Ray was a get it done kind of person, very organized. He was always busy. He had a sharp wit and a good sense of humor. He built an upstairs on our home, and lost his thumb doing it. He kept the house and yard in immaculate condition. He enjoyed reading and loved cars; his was pristine. I remember, as a girl, listening for rattles while he drove. He couldn't stand rattles; I still listen. He looked forward to the Seattle Seafair and the hydroplane races each year. He loved the speed.

When he was older, he thought his age gave him license to say what he thought, which he often did. He could be abrasive. Ray had two bypass surgeries. At the time of the second surgery, he said that if he could gain another good ten years from it, that would be good. If he couldn't, he would rather just not wake up. And that's what he got. The surgery was a success, but the patient did not revive. Ray died on 16 March 1995, in Tacoma. I felt like I ought to be able to walk into another room and ask, "So, how was it?" But I could not.

When he died, I felt peaceful and good about him and his life. On the Monday before his death, he came home from his walk and said he needed to see the doctor. After that, things moved along until the surgery. It was the same surgeon as before, and when he came into the waiting room, he cried. Before entering the hospital, Dad ran down to church to do a couple of chores. He was the executive secretary of the Singles Ward. He left nothing undone, and so he died, all assignments complete. That was like him to finish everything up before leaving.


A Girl Called Dallan said...

What a touching post. It seemed the perfect thing to read at the end of a long string of family holiday gatherings. In the end, it seems that the sum of a life comes down to a few representative flashes of memory, like a small collection of snapshot photos.

Thank you for sharing some of yours.

2dobbins said...

Dear George Locke,
I am a Locke relative. My Dad is Marion Damon Locke, Jr. I have some pictures you may like to see.
Hope we can connect! Really enjoy your site. Sheryl Hott

Judie and George said...

Sheryl! I would come and visit you, but your site is blocked. If you check back, maybe you could e-mail me at

Anonymous said...

wonderful ..................................................

Patricia said...

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Patricia Maxwell

Patricia said...

Hi Judie and George,

I located Olette Olsdatter for you in Norway with her parents and her birth document. Please contact me. I continue to try to send a message to you because I do genealogy for my entire family and also have a large tree at Ancestry.Com. I will gladly share Olette's birth information with you.

Please contact me.

Thank you,

Patricia Maxwell