Dr. Braswell Locker was remembered Monday as a “giant of a man by all measures.”
Locker, 93, who died Saturday in Midlothian will be buried at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Locker Cemetery, land his grandfather and great-uncle helped settle in the 1850s. His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, the church he began attending with his family when he was 4, and where he had been an almost lifelong member, serving as trustee, deacon and Sunday school teacher.
“Dr. Locker was a Christian model who served his Lord by serving others,” said Dr. Don Newbury, chancellor for Howard Payne University. “I’ve never known a more distinguished person, who set the highest standards for himself and his family. This gentle physician was a pillar in the medical community throughout his years of service, and was a wonderful friend of Howard Payne University.”
“He worked harder and stayed busier than any man I’ve ever been around,” said Mack New-som, who grew up on a ranch next to the Lockers’ and was their ranch foreman for about 10 years. “He never quit working. When he had his practice, patients would come and go in and out of that office like bees, but Dr. Locker attended to every one no matter how long it made his day. He was always easy going, just an all right guy.”
Tommy and Nita DeHay were long time family friends of Locker and his wife Billie. Tommy DeHay remembered Locker as “a wonderful family man. Billie was always by his side, and they had a fine, fine family.”
And DeHay said, though Locker was an outstanding eye, ear, nose and throat doctor, “he always considered himself a farmer and rancher. He loved the land, and being a steward of the land.”
Nita DeHay, who worked in Locker’s office as an optometrist assistant, said, “Dr. Locker was very patient, and he loved his patients. He cared for them completely. He was always ready to help any one, any time, any way that he could.”
Ted Shelton recalled once, several years after Locker had retired from his medical practice, that he got a splinter in his eye while working on a windmill on a ranch near the Lockers’.
“I just got in my car, drove over to Dr. Locker’s house and he fixed me right up. He did things like that for people all the time, and never asked for a thing in return.
“Another thing,” Shelton said, “Dr. Locker was so good to talk to the young men, set an example for them. Generations of people have been helped by Dr. Locker.”
Martha Shelton said the Lockers did so many things together as a couple, that “they were a wonderful example to us all. Billie worked right along side him. She was a nurse in his office and after they retired, they traveled together and did things together.”
The Lockers’ oldest son, Brad, said the family had received a “real outpouring” of condolences from the community. One friend sent an e-mail with a quote she said had been used to describe her father, and she wanted to share it as a tribute to Locker.
“The quote is, ‘He had the mind of a scholar, the heart of a poet and the soul of a Christian,’” Brad Locker said. “If you had to describe Dad in a few words, I’d say that quote does it.”