Obituaries & Tributes

James S. Locke

James S. Locke DVM passed away August 24, 2020 in Albany, Oregon at the age of 91 from a tired heart. His long life began in Seattle Washington on September 24, 1928. The only son of Albert and Lula Locke, he had one sister, Elaine.  

His early years were spent in Seattle playing baseball at a level that earned invitations to several major league tryout camps as well as an offer later to walk on in college, which was passed on in favor of a more stable career. He graduated from Highline High School where he met the love of his life, later to become his wife, Charlotte. They were married on August 9, 1952. In the immediate years following high school, Jim, as he became known, served as a member of the United States Naval Reserves and was called to active duty in January of 1951. Many were called to active duty at this time as a result of the conflict in Korea.

After leaving military service, Jim attended Washington State College, where he earned a bachelor degree in zoology. Thinking he may pursue a professional career in dentistry or, an endeavor that was wildlife related, hunting and fishing being his favorite family activity, it was by pure chance that he noticed a posting on campus inviting anyone with an interest in veterinary medicine to attend a meeting to learn of opportunities in that profession. He quickly decided that might be something he would like to do. “Like” was an understatement to say the least. With an instant passion for large animal veterinary medicine (work that kept him outdoors), he often shared that one of his biggest thrills in life was a call to deliver a calf from a struggling heifer or cow where young children might be present to witness a newborn animal take its first breath. Veterinarians never retire in the traditional sense of the word, it is what they are as a person. For Jim, time just took away the ability to perform the demanding physical work required. Going on “a call” was never, ever, a job.

Survived by his beloved “brown eyes” of 68 years, Charlotte, two sons, and a daughter and their spouses; David and Karen Locke of Lake Oswego, Kerry and Tim Abbott of Bass Lake California, Richard and Mary Locke of Junction City, and six grandchildren who also cherished him dearly. He possessed a big heart, generous spirit, quick sense of humor, and could tell a story like no other. If you were lucky enough to know “doc”, you did not let go of him easily.

Services were held on August 31, 2020 at Willamette Memorial Park in Albany Oregon where several of his dearest friends attended and shared some of the heartfelt personal stories of their times with Jim.



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