1926 – 2019
Woodstock – William L. “Bill” Lockett, 92, formerly of Dekalb, IL, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 in Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, MA. He was the loving husband of 60 years to the late F. Louise (Baker) Lockett who passed away in 2016. Born in White Hall, IL on October 10, 1926, he was the son of the late Norman E. and Mary Edith (Ferguson) Lockett.
Bill worked from a young age helping the neighbor ladies with yard work, picking blueberries and delivering newspapers. When he wasn’t working, he lived a “Tom Sawyer existence,” roaming the fields and hills of Greene County with his pals. When he was 18, he joined the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Halford during WWII until an injury sent him to Pearl Harbor to recover. Bill was then sent to the Great Lakes Naval Base where he worked as a clerical assistant in the Chaplin’s office until his discharge in 1946.
Bill attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL and after holding jobs at Caterpillar, Inc. and as an auto mechanic, took a sales position with The Golden Rule Life Insurance Co., which later was sold and became United Health Care. During his time with The Golden Rule, Bill earned a broker’s license and for a time ran his own company, the William Lockett Insurance Agency.
Bill was widely read and followed politics closely, was a good swimmer when younger and enjoyed fishing, was a draftsman, could repair almost anything and was a self-taught carpenter. Along with his wife Louise, Bill was involved in many charities. The couple were founding members of the Sycamore Baptist Church in IL where he also served as a trustee. Bill was also a Boy Scout leader, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, a member of the V.F.W. and was on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army in DeKalb, IL for several years before moving to Woodstock, CT to live with his daughter and her family in 2012.
Bill is survived by his daughter, Karen and her husband Charles of Woodstock; his son, Kent and his wife Beatriz of Chicago, IL; his brother in-law, Walter Baker and his wife Margaret of Jacksonville, IL; and several nieces and nephews and their children; as well as his beloved grandchildren, Taylor Warinsky of Hartford, CT, Noelle Warinsky and her partner Colin Breen of Lebanon, NH, Arden Warinsky of New Britain, CT, and Grace Lockett of Chicago, IL. He was predeceased by his brothers, the late Neil, Eugene and George Lockett; and sister, Gwen Gilmore and her husband Paul; as well as several brothers and sister’s in-law.
The family would like to thank Dr. A.C. Catsam and the staff at Harrington Hospital for all their kind attention during Bill’s final illness.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a graveside service in Elmvale Cemetery, corner of Roseland Park and Senexet road in Woodstock, on Thursday September 5, 2019 at 11:00a.m. followed by a Life Celebration Service at the East Woodstock Congregational Church, 220 Woodstock Rd., Woodstock at 11:30 a.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Bill’s memory to your local chapter of his favorite organizations which were the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, and Disabled American Veterans. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.