Obituary Details

Robert Randolph Locke

December 17, 1931 - July 14, 2018

Birthplace & Residence

Information withheld per family request

Visitation

Location:
Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church
Date:
Friday, July 20, 2018
Time:
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Mass

Location:
Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church
Date:
Friday, July 20, 2018
Service Time:
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Cemetery

Information withheld per family request

Notes

Robert (Bob) Randolph Locke, Sr., age 86, died on July 14, 2018 in Raleigh, NC at his home with his loving family at his side. He was born in Washington, D.C. to George Stewart Locke Sr. and Mary Elizabeth (Higdon) Locke. Bob was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, George Stewart Locke, Jr.

Bob attended public schools in Washington, DC and, during World War II, in West Virginia. Returning to live in Maryland after the war, Bob finished his schooling in Laurel, Maryland and entered the University of Maryland. After one semester he volunteered for service in the United States Navy during the Korean War and was an Aviation Electronics Technician (AT2). In 1952 he met his future wife Anne Teresa Simpson of Washington, DC, and on April 24, 1954 they were married in Silver Spring, Maryland. Bob received an honorable discharge from the Navy in February 1955 and resumed his college studies while working and raising a family.

Bob attended Montgomery Junior College, Catholic University of America, George Washington University, and the University of Maryland, graduating in 1960 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. While he was in college, he also worked for Vitro Corporation in Silver Spring, Maryland doing advanced scientific research and development work for the US Navy. Bob’s Navy research indirectly led to the development of ultrasound technology. Bob’s research also led to the development and refinement of advanced weapons fire and control systems on the USS George Washington (SSBN-598), the world’s first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. In 1957, while working for Vitro, Bob was the first person in the Washington DC area to locate, identify, and track the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite which heralded the beginning of the “Space Race.”

In 1961, Bob joined IBM Corporation in Bethesda, MD where he continued research and development projects. He began with the first airline reservation system, which was installed for Eastern Airlines in what is now Reagan International Airport. In 1965 the family transferred to Raleigh, one of the first IBM families to arrive with the opening of the Research Triangle Park. Among the many projects that Bob worked on, a few stand out including the development of the computer modem, the installation and modernization of the Japanese banking system, the development and installation of mobile police terminals for the Kansas City Police Department (a project that opened the way for the transmission of data over the airwaves and enabled the eventual development of “smartphone” technology), the development of barcode scanners, and the development of the Token-Ring network chip, paving the way for the modernization and use of personal computers in business and at home.

Bob retired from IBM in 1987. Although he always took up the challenge of solving and designing solutions to clients’ needs, Bob’s greatest joy of his work career was building the right team to solve the “problem at hand” and nurturing the friendships that grew from those teams. Still, as much as Bob relished the challenges presented to him in his work, his greatest treasure was his love of family.

Bob never missed an opportunity to connect with family or nature. After moving to North Carolina in 1965, Bob made a priority of returning to Washington DC every summer, and in 1970 taking his family on a six-week cross-country vacation to meet all their aunts, uncles and cousins. Along the way the family visited many of the nation’s parks and monuments. It was a trip that still inspires his children to this very day.

Bob had many passions and hobbies in his life including riding motorcycles, flying, singing in barbershop chorus, wood working, playing classical guitar, and sailing. Bob also enjoyed spending time with nature, whether walking in the woods of Umstead Park, camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, or taking a drive along country backroads with no destination in mind, just to see what was around the next curve.

Bob most enjoyed spending time at the North Carolina coast, which reminded him of his childhood summers spent on the Chesapeake Bay, listening to the stories of the sea as told to him by his grandfather Higdon who sailed with the US Navy during the Spanish American War. Bob eventually purchased an old home on the waters of Bogue Sound, completely rebuilding it. Christening it “Locke’s Landing”, he opened it to family and friends as a place of relaxation and refreshment. Over the years there have been many gatherings at Locke’s Landing, much to the enjoyment and promotion of shared family memories.

Bob is survived by his wife of 64 years, Anne Simpson Locke; his sister Elizabeth Ann Feeney (Raymond) of Spokane WA.; children Robert Randolph “Randy” Locke, Jr. (Pamela) of Raleigh; Susan Locke Clifton (Douglas) of Durham; Elizabeth Marie Schimmel (Richard) of Rowlett, TX; George Francis Locke (Lottie) of Raleigh; and William Paul Locke of Raleigh; 23 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, multiple nieces and nephews and their families around the world.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 2718 Overbrook Drive, Raleigh, NC 27608 on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 11 am with inurnment immediately following the Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Columbarium. Family and friends are invited to gather in the church from 10 to 11 am to share their memories and stories of Bob’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Transitions Hospice of Raleigh, Our Lady of Lourdes “Children of God” Ministry, or to the hospice or charity of your choice.
Posted by:
Jim Lowe
Posted on:
July 18, 2018
Your dad was one-of-a-kind and will be much missed. Hugs to you all from both of us.
Love,
Connie & Jim
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Visitation

Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church
2718 Overbrook Drive
RALEIGH, NC 27608

Mass

Our Lady of Lourdes R.C. Church
2718 Overbrook Drive
RALEIGH, NC 27608

Cemetery

Unknown Location