LCCAA Remembers Retired Agency Leader William T. Locke

posted 7/7/15 -- Lorain County Community Action Agency employees were deeply saddened by the July 4 death of retired CEO William T. Locke.

“Bill’s legacy of helping low income and at-risk persons will be remembered for years to come,” said current President and CEO Jackie Boehnlein, offering the agency’s condolences to Mrs. Dorothy Locke and the entire Locke family.  "We join the entire community in mourning this loss. His work lives on in the Head Start center that bears his name and in countless other ways."

William "Bill" Locke served as LCCAA President and CEO from 1988 to 1999 and from 2005 to 2011.  He came to Lorain having been part of Community Action in Ohio since 1974.  He previously served as executive directorof Portage County Community Action Agency and was appointed by Governor Richard Celeste to the Ohio Department of Development to administer the Community Services Block Grant for Ohio.

"William Locke will be greatly missed by everyone touched by his life and work.  We are holding his loved ones in prayer," added Henry Patterson, the agency's board chair.

Bill pioneered many social enterprises such as a lucrative bait shop in the 1990s. He was also instrumental in several housing projects believing in the importance of affordable housing for everyone. In the years before his 2011 retirement he was working through the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies to promote social entrepreneurship and the creation of living wage jobs at the local level.

Bill championed the building of a 25,000-square-foot learning center for young children which was dedicated as the Hopkins-Locke Head Start Center in 1995. The center remains in operation at 1050 Reid Avenue in Lorain serving as the largest Head Start site in Lorain County.

Bill publicly shared that he dedicated himself to helping others directly because he survived serving with the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He did not expect to survive the war.  “Coming home, for him, was an opportunity to make good on his promise to make a difference in the lives of others,” Boehnlein related.  “The place he did that most was in Lorain County.” 

Funeral arrangements have been announced and are available by clicking here