Successful businessman who never forgot his roots in the town

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Many in the community were shocked with the passing of Alan Locke, the son of Alan and May Locke, Portadown.

Alan was born in August 1956 and was initially educated at Edenderry Primary School before transferring to Portadown College in the last cohort of children to move directly to Portadown College at age 11. He completed his education at Queen’s University, Belfast where he gained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Studies and Politics.

Influenced in his formative years at home, business and politics were to play a major part in his life. During the course of his formal education he worked in the family business, Locke Tools, before embarking in a highly successful career in business that included working for 17 years in Rank Xerox as a business development manager.

He was a high achiever who was determined to succeed in all that he did, taking on board new ideas and always willing to meet a challenge.

Similarly his lifelong interest in politics came from the home where his father’s family have a long tradition of public service and membership of the Unionist Party. He joined the Unionist Party whilst at university and in later life became the chairman of Newtownbreda branch of the Ulster Unionist Party and the vice chairman of the South Belfast Ulster Unionists.

Family values of loyalty and dependability instilled at a young age were to be seen in all aspects of his life.

Despite living in Belfast for all his working life, he retained a great affinity for his birthplace Portadown. He remained a member of LOL 40 and RBP 25 throughout his life and took great satisfaction in the exploits of Portadown Football Club. He regularly attended Irish League and Cup matches and even in the midst of illness was anxious to learn of new developments at Shamrock Park.

Whilst he travelled extensively during his life, visiting his uncle, Victor Locke in Hong Kong, touring the USA and exploring the wonders of the Victoria Falls in southern Africa, he was happiest when he was at home with his wide circle of friends and his family. He was devoted to his wife Wendy and his two children Caroline and Alan from who he gained immense satisfaction and pride.

On Thursday, June 13 a large gathering of friends, family and work colleagues met to celebrate Alan’s life at Belvoir Parish Church followed by his burial at Tartaraghan. The services were led by Rev Tom Keightly who became a close friend through Alan’s faithful attendance at Belvoir Church of Ireland over many years. Tributes were paid by his wife Wendy and brother Nigel whilst lifelong friend Brian Williamson read a chosen portion of scripture.

Mr Locke is survived by his wife Wendy, daughter Caroline, son Alan, father Alan, brother Nigel and sister Hilary.