Charles Edward Locke

FALMOUTH – Charles Edward Locke, of Falmouth, passed away peacefully on Dec. 3, 2023, after a brief illness. He was born on Feb. 28, 1929, in Dunmore, Pa. to Charles and Helen (Hamrich) Locke and attended Dunmore schools.

After high school, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed at several bases in the US and Europe. His last assignment was at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor where, after completing training at the University of Denver, he served as Sergeant in charge of the Air Force Base Safety Office. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Master Sergeant after ten years of active duty. He served with the Air Force Reserve for an additional three years. It was during his assignment at Dow when he met his wife to be, Madeline, who was a Bangor resident.

After completion of his military service, Charles began working for the American Photocopy Company. He later became their first independent dealer and the first independent copier business in the country. He started as a one-man operation in Bangor in 1961, selling and servicing copy machines. Many Bangor area businesses bought their first copier from Charles. As the copier industry began to develop, the company Charles started continued to grow and expand in Northern New England. Building on the success in the copier business, Charles made the decision to expand into the office supply and furniture business. Locke Office Products became one of the largest office equipment and supply companies in New England. From 1961 to 1987 Locke Office Products grew from a one-person operation to a company of over 200 employees, with offices throughout Maine and New Hampshire.

Charles was fortunate to have his wife Madeline and his sons Jimmy, Jeff, and John involved in the family business. Together, the family along with many dedicated long-term employees, enabled the growth and success of the company. A major national corporation acquired Locke Office Products in 1987. The company is still in existence today under a different name and many of the employees initially hired by Charles remained with the company through their retirement.

After the sale of Locke Office Products, Charles and Madeline moved to Boca Raton, Fla. They enjoyed travel, making new friends, playing golf and bridge. They later returned to Maine. Charles’ love for business was second only to his love for his family. He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and always had a smile and story for them.

Charles was preceded in death by his wife Madeline, son Jimmy, sisters Mary, Helen, Ann, Madelyn, and Margaret, and his brother John. He is survived by daughter Judith Locke, Stratford Conn., son Jeffrey Locke and wife Liz, Vero Beach, Fla., son John Locke and wife Maria, Falmouth; grandchildren Michelle Clement (Paul) of Newburgh, Joseph Locke (Bree) of Bangor, Christopher Locke (Diana) of Vero Beach, Fla., Emily O’Grady (Kyle) of Potomac, Md., Chelsea Locke of Falmouth, Robert Locke of Rockville, Md., Jonathan Locke of Falmouth, Anna Decker (Chad) of Gorham. He is also survived by great-grandchildren Paul and Taylor Clement, Gabriel and Emma Locke, Charlie, Hazel, and Clara Locke, Ellie and Owen O’Grady, Lola and Darby Decker; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Services and a celebration of life are planned for July 2024.

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