Richard Duane Locke 91, of Polson, passed away peacefully on Jan 19, 2022, of natural causes.
Richard was born April 21, 1930, to Flossie and Issac Locke in Cornell, Illinois, the seventh of eight children. Richard or Duane as he was known by his family, was raised on a family farm in Fairfield, IL, where he learned how to fix most anything. He attended Golden Gate Community High School, in Wayne County, IL. In 1950, after the wheat harvest in Kansas, Richard traveled to Missouri to visit is sister where he enlisted in the US Air Force.
He was first stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Maryland for 5 years where he tested bombs, rockets, and chemicals for warfare. While at Aberdeen, Duane would go roller-skating on his time off, where he met the love-of-his-life Marlene Cullum. They married in February 1952. Richard and Marlene, they had one daughter Gwendolyn. Richard was stationed at several bases in the US and overseas. One of his favorite locations was RAF Wethersfield Air Station in Essex, England.
In 1959, Duane and his family returned to Biloxi, Miss., where he crossed trained into the up-and-coming radar field. Richard used these new skills when he was stationed in Iceland, Greenland and near Nha Trang, Vietnam. In Sept 1972, he and his family moved to Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, Montana and in 1973 after serving 23 years and obtaining the rank of E-6, he retired. After retiring Richard worked for NW Fence, Great Falls Veterinary Clinic, and he owned and operated his own powering raking and handyman business. Marlene passed in 2002. Richard enjoyed: traveling, square dancing, fishing, hunting and did his own reloading.
In 2009, Richard met Elsie Gierke, she became his constant companion, they lived for a short time in Great Falls, but later relocated to Polson, MT to be near her daughter. Richard and Elsie were married in Polson, MT in Dec. 2011. They enjoyed square dancing, day trips, card games and watching wildlife.
Richard is survived by his wife Elsie Gierke-Locke, Gwen Block (daughter), Patty Gierke (stepdaughter), 5 grandchildren: Stephen Korol-Locke (Great Falls, MT), Kalla Huntley (Woodland, WA), Chris Gierke, Michelle Gierke and Kevin Gierke (Missoula, MT); 4 great grandchildren: Zophiya (Great Falls), Maria, Gavin and Kian (Woodland, WA) many nieces and nephews, and dear friends Terry and Danny Crosbie in the UK.
He is preceded in death by his former wife Marlene, his siblings, stepsons David Gierke (Missoula, MT), Fred Gierke (Woodland, WA) and many family and friends.
Richard will be remembered for his laugh, his frugal nature, his kindness and his generosity with his time.
No services will be held at this time.