In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Lou Ann Locke, 87

Lou Ann Locke

Lou Ann Locke

Lou Ann Lewis Locke, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among East Asian Affinity Peoples in East Asia, including Hong Kong, and in Russia, died Sept. 29, 2019, in Arkadelphia, Ark. She was 87.

She was born March 25, 1932, in Goldsboro, N.C., to Ruth and Jim Lewis. During her teens, she wrote when seeking missionary appointment, she felt called to Christian service. “I felt sure that I was being led towards missionary service among the Chinese,” she said.

A strong believer in education, she earned the Bachelor of Arts from the Women’s Division of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro; the Master of Arts from Texas Christian University, Fort Worth; and the Master of Social Work from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She was chair of the Department of Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology at Hong Kong Baptist College, lectured in sociology and social work at Ouachita Baptist University and taught in several universities in East Asia and at the Baptist seminary in Moscow.

While serving as a missionary with another denomination in Hong Kong, she married Charles Kenneth Locke on Aug. 30, 1958. When they returned home, she became Baptist and kept Hong Kong in mind. She and Kenneth were employed as IMB missionary associates on April 14,1970, to serve in Hong Kong. After a time in the United States, they returned to East Asia in 1987 and served later in Russia, completing 15 years of service before their retirement.

According to her family, “Lou Ann Lewis Locke was never one to be contained. She enjoyed traveling, discovering, making friends and living out her dreams….. She enjoyed reading poetry, writing humorous essays and remembrances, arranging flowers, setting a nice table and cooking Chinese food for 20 or more at the drop of a hat. She could discourse learnedly on her fields of study, teach in fluent Cantonese and help peasants plant rice paddies. Mrs. Locke visited refugee camps in Laos, traveled the Khyber Pass, rehabbed houses and started the Foster Grandparents program in Arkadelphia.”

Locke is survived by her husband of 61 years, Charles Kenneth, her sons Ken and Larry and their respective families.

A memorial service was held Oct. 4, 2019, at Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home, Arkadelphia.

Read an obituary here.