On June 16, 2023 the streets of Heaven gained another kind and caring soul. Paul Dale Locke, 83, of Macomb, Illinois, peacefully passed into the arms of Jesus at home surrounded by family. Born October 17, 1939, in McDonough County, he is now reunited in Heaven with his wife and the love of his life Marilyn “Joyce” Locke, his parents, Avery Thomas and Zelda Locke; his sister, Virginia Garrison; his brother, Bill “Bud” Locke, his great-granddaughter Abigail Faith Hoenig, and other loved ones.
Survivors include his loving daughters, Paula (Mitch) Markey and Angela (Roger) Locke-Bowen both of Macomb, IL; his granddaughter, Angelica (Cullen) Hoenig; three grandsons, Caleb (Michelle) Markey, Cody Locke, and Colton Markey; four great-grandchildren, Adeline and Ainsley Markey, Markey Jo and Cainen Hoenig; his sister, Patricia Crawford, many brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews, and his good friends Robert “Babs” Babcock, Don Raymond, Bob Kimball, and Richard Baugh.
Paul’s kindness and compassion touched the lives of so many others. He spread joy to those he loved as well as total strangers. He had a contagious smile and bubbly personality. He didn’t know a stranger and would strike up a conversation with anyone, genuinely interested in what they had to say. He would crack jokes and make you laugh because “everyone needs a laugh now and then”.
His work ethic was unmatched. He worked two jobs for many years of his working life so that he could provide for his family and give his children and grandchildren a wonderful childhood. He began his working career at Jack Beal’s Garage in Adair; as a shoe salesman for Bowman Shoes in Macomb, Monmouth, Quincy, and Kankakee; and later at the Shell gas station on West Jackson Street in Macomb. The majority of his working career he could be seen trotting and smiling up and down the halls of Macomb High School as a custodian, striking up conversations, bonding with students and staff, and leaving a lasting impact on the lives of so many. During this time, he would also be seen around town, mowing yards throughout the community. He took great pride in the quality of his work and true old-fashioned service—knowing the real difference it made for others.
One of Paul’s greatest prides in life was his elaborate Christmas display each year. He considered no higher honor than spreading the joy, spirit and true meaning of Christmas with others, particularly children. It would allow his grandchildren to bring their elementary classrooms to visit during the school year—a memory they all treasure. As the display grew over the years, it became a tradition for families everywhere—to visit, to smile and to soak in the spirit of the season.
Paul’s legacy will leave a lasting impact on his family and community. He taught us to love, to give to others, to spread joy and to work hard. He loved his family, old cars, Elvis songs, old television shows, and western movies. When we hear these, we will think of him fondly. Paul represented the best that humanity can offer. To the many that knew him, he was an inspiration and someone that we can all aspire to be. He will be loved forever and dearly missed.
Funeral services will be 10:00 A.M. Monday, June 26, 2023, at the Jones Mortuary in Colchester, with Rev. Lee Unger. Burial will follow the services at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens in Macomb. Visitation with the family will be 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Sunday, June 25, 2023, at the funeral home. Friends may view and sign the register book at the funeral home after 8:30 A.M. Sunday. Memorials are In Memory of Paul Dale Locke or The Spirit of Christmas Memorial. Condolences and memories can be expressed to the family at jonesmortuaryfh.com.