Hollis Bernard Locke Obituary


Pause Growing Up by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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Memories & Candles

“Although I never had the opportunity to meet "Holly," he sounds like a wonderful man and it was my loss! I know you,his family and friends, must me...Read More »
1 of 11 | Posted by: Tami Drake - Liberty Hill, TX

“I met Holly as a patient of mine in the hospital- about 5 years ago. He was such a sweet man & patient! I ended up becoming friends with his daughter...Read More »
2 of 11 | Posted by: Meg Halaska

“It's hard to narrow down my memories. One of my most special was when my mom Barbara Dawn passed away. Uncle Holly was the first family member...Read More »
3 of 11 | Posted by: Karen - Arvada, CO - niece

“Your Dad was always great to me! Your mom is the greatest.I think i ended up with a redhead because of her.Looking at the photos make me realize how...Read More »
4 of 11 | Posted by: Mark Van Schaick - Kalama, WA

“Daddy, thank you for giving us life. I will miss the sound of your voice, your mannerisms... everything from teaching me leadership by example to ......Read More »
5 of 11 | Posted by: Bobbie Locke - Grand Rapids, MI

“I hope my dad in heaven gets the opportunity to chat with your dad. They sound so much alike they would jave a great time. Luv you, Pat, and prayers...Read More »
6 of 11 | Posted by: Susan Groover

Dad with Lil and Karen's dog Bailey “In the last few years when dad was living in assisted living residences, if you came to see him he would always ask "Are you coming to take me to the...Read More »
7 of 11 | Posted by: Patsy - MI - #2 Daughter, #5 Kid

“I so loved visiting on weekends when Linda and I were in college. Enjoyed helping Uncle Holly work on his cars. Have a special memory of helping...Read More »
8 of 11 | Posted by: Robert J. Rathburn II - Flint, MI

“Rembering all the great times we had when the family got together for Christmas and Thanksgiving. May you rest in peace. ”
9 of 11 | Posted by: Robert C Rathburn - Corsicana, TX

“I first met Mr. Locke in the summer of 1980 through his daughter Patsy. What a man he was....fascinating in many ways. I was amazed at his...Read More »
10 of 11 | Posted by: Karen Beyer Ettinger - MI

“Daddy, my dear papa, It was an honor to be able to spend precious time with you and to help care for you these last 5 years. It was a blessing to...Read More »
11 of 11 | Posted by: Lil Locke - San Diego, CA


Hollis Bernard "Holly" Locke aged 82, passed away on February 19th 2013 after battling Alzheimer's disease and finally, Leukemia. Both of his parents and his brothers Elvin, Forrest and Ralph Locke predeceased Holly. His is survived by his wife, Patricia Mae Rathburn Locke; their six children, Richard "Dick" Locke (Ruth), Hollis II "Chip" Locke (Vicki), Kevin Locke, Lillian "Lil" Locke (Karen Vice), Patricia "Patsy" Locke and Barbara "Bobbie" Locke, two international exchange student sons, Naohiro Hagiwara and Juan Jose Dapueto, 13 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his beloved elder sister and brother, Grace Willett of Alberta, Canada and Raymond Locke (Stella) of Flint, Michigan.
Holly was born in an old farmhouse in Red Deer, Alberta Canada on June 7, 1930 to his parents Myrtle Olive Speedy and Harold Aubrey Locke. Holly was the youngest of 6 children. At age 6, Holly and his family made the rugged trip across Canada and settled in Flint Michigan. He attended Flint Central High School where at 16, he met his sweetheart and future wife Patricia Mae Rathburn. They were married in 1950 and raised six children. Holly and Pat belonged to a tight-knit group of childhood friends that kept in touch throughout their lives.
Holly was a passionate auto enthusiast from an early age and became skilled in auto mechanics by his late teens. Proud to be a dedicated and diligent worker, Holly showed his initiative in several early occupations, including security guard at a drive-in theater, truck driver for Consumers Power Company, a window coverings installer for Smith Bridgemans, and he was also an Amway distributor. Holly then entered a long career with General Motors that began on the assembly line. Quickly singled out for his leadership potential, he was promoted steadily over the next 34 years to positions of increasing responsibility, and retired in 1987 as executive superintendent of production for the GM/Fisher Body Trim plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After retiring from General Motors, he first moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, then on to Parowan, Utah, and finally in 2008 to San Diego, California.
His love of classic cars persisted throughout his life. His personal passion was collecting and restoring Cadillac's, and his "fleet" once included models from 1948, 1959, 1962, 1963, and 1970. With meticulous attention to detail in both engine and body work, he lovingly restored each classic in his collection to its original beauty. One of his favorite weekend activities was going to the local junk yards (Junkin', as he affectionately called it) to find parts needed for his restoration projects. With the commercial sewing experience he'd gained at GM, he ran a small commercial sewing business in his basement, restoring the interior seats and trim of classic/antique cars, boats and private airplanes. Holly always insisted on perfection in his restoration business. He often had bleeding finger tips from using a curved needle to hand sew the final seams together, joining two tough layers of leather. On occasion he would discover a missed stitch after a seat was completed, and he would tear the entire project apart to re-sew that single stitch, even if it was not visible to the amateurs eye. He became well known across West Michigan as a trusted and sought-after master craftsman.
Holly loved his family, worked tirelessly to support them and was devoted to being a good provider. Holly loved working with his hands and he could fix or build anything. He was a proud man and was also very proud of his accomplishments. He had a creative mind and was an amazing problem solver. He designed and built an incredible deck, two bedrooms, a wall of bookshelves, terraced and landscaped the yard of his family home, and re-covered antique furniture as gifts for his wife. He was very active and never slowed down for long, always driven to be productive. Known for being an "extra-early" riser, weekends would find him up before dawn, washing 2 cars, cleaning the garage, going to breakfast, then back home by 8 am to wake the kids up for the day so he could go back to bed for a nap, much to the amusement of his family.
Holly also had a lifelong love of animals. At one point in his Alzheimer's progression, he stopped 2 lanes of traffic by holding up his cane so that he could mercifully remove a dead animal from the road. He was a kind, and gentle man, who was helpful, thoughtful, and had a passion for helping others. Holly had a strong sense of honor and loved feeling an important part of his family and friends. Holly was an amazing provider and he always strived to do the right thing and to do all things right. His children learned these qualities through his role modeling and they live by these characteristics as well.
He loved music, dancing, and Westerns. In retirement, he finally developed the ability to relax and enjoy life. He was strong and capable on the outside, yet truly a sensitive spirit on the inside. As a father he seemed like the strongest man on the planet. He could swim underwater with one of his kids hanging on his neck for what seemed like forever. It was a miracle!
Holly saw himself as a simple man with simple needs. He was a down to earth man. Because of his very humble beginnings, he always saw the world with a grateful eye. Though struggling with the affects of Alzheimer's these last seven years, he still came to cherish the beauty in a sunset, a flower, a smile and the laughter of children.
Hollis Bernard Locke wanted to be known as someone who tried his best to be a "good man" his entire life. He was beloved by his family and the many friends he met along the entire path of his life story. He will be dearly missed and always, always loved. Holly is in God's hands now and forever more.
***Holly's wish was

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