Gary Steven Locke, 56, passed away Sunday, September 16, 2012 at Robinson Memorial Hospital. He was born April 30, 1956 to Peter P. and Rose M. (Galzerano) Locke in Ravenna, Ohio. Mr. Locke was a lifelong member of Immaculate Conception Church. He is survived by his wife of 29 years Susan (DiPaola) Locke and daughters Natalie Claire (fiance Francis Brennan) and Meredith Elaine Locke both of Ravenna. He also leaves behind his mother Rose Locke, his aunts Dorothy (AI) Stoessner and Philomena Ballista. Sisters-in-law Kathleen DiPaola, Sandra Alger, Peggy DiPaola, Mary Beth (William) Barber, Veronica (Jim Just) Collins all of Ravenna, and Maria (Greg) Weakland of Atwater. Eighteen nieces and nephews, seven great nieces and nephews and many cousins. Mr. Locke was blessed with a wonderful group of friends he considered his brothers.
He was preceded in death by his father Peter P. Locke and several aunts and uncles. Gary was a 1974 graduate of Ravenna High School. He attended the University of Akron and graduated with a degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis on Social Studies. He also received his Master's Degree in Urban Planning. Mr. Locke has been employed with the City of Kent for 32 years. From 1990-1994 Gary was the Director of Community Development. In 1996 he assumed the Director of Community Development role again and has held that position to the present day. Gary Locke was posthumously honored at a gathering of coworkers and business friends. His widow and daughters were presented with a Key to the City in his honor, a Proclamation from the City of Kent a scholarship fund being established in his name, and a Mayoral Proclamation from the City of Ravenna. A Family and Community Services 10 unit apartment building which Mr. Locke helped procure funds for has been named The Locke Apartments. His professional affiliations include: being a member of OCCD (Ohio Conference of Community Development) for 20 years, holding the position of President in 2004; and also being a member of NEFCO (Northeast Ohio Four County (Organization) for 20 years. He was a member of the Ravenna Planning Commission.
He was a member of the Ravenna Elks for 15 years, Kent Lions 5 years, and Kent Rotary 5 years. Gary was also a past member of the Portage County Men's Bowling Association, serving one year as president. Mr. Locke enjoyed listening to jazz, playing golf and bowling. Gary's name was placed in the United States Bowling Hall of Fame for having an 800 series and was also fortunate to have bowled three 300 games. Calling hours wil be 2-4 & 7-9 PM Wednesday September 19, 2012 at the Shorts-Spicer-Crislip Funeral Homes Ravenna Chapel. Mass of Christian services will be 10:00 AM Thursday September 20, 2012 at Immaculate Conception Church Ravenna, Ohio. Private graveside services will be held later. In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made to the Gary Locke Scholarship Fund c/o Bridget Susel, City of Kent, 930 Overholt Rd. Kent, Ohio 44240.