Gordon Allen Locksley

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LOCKSLEY, MR. GORDON ALLEN, private art dealer and collector of contemporary art, passed away quietly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 1, 2014 after a brief illness. He was known for his wit, his sense of humor, his thoughtfulness and for maintaining relationships and friendships across continents and over decades of time. Mr. Locksley was not interested in learning how to use the latest office technology to keep in touch with his friends and colleagues. In fact, he preferred using hand written, humorously signed post cards and faxes to share his love of life, books and insights into events and art. He could always add a quote from his favorite anthropologist or philosopher to illustrate an idea or insight about life or the art world that he generously shared with younger people in the art world or friends in general. Mr. Locksley loved reading, was a self-educated man, and until his eyesight failed due to many decades of macular degeneration, read a book a day and loved watching classic movies in theaters and on television. Even when he no longer could see printed words he listened to the latest audiobooks on his portable disk player. He always shared printed books and audiobooks with friends and libraries. Many friends today have his insightful notes scribbled in the margins of books he passes on to them. He never lost his love of learning and he shared this with people as well. Mr. Locksley was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 27, 1930 to William and Sheila Locksley .His grandparents came from Poland before World War II. Mr. Locksley was very close to his grandparents, and his many aunts and uncles. His love for hearty, crusty breads came as the result of spending hours as a child with his grandfather Isidore and grandmother Ella, who owned a bakery. It was known for the best onion rye bread in Chicago. Mr. Locksley always told stories about his family, some rather humorous and always with love. Until he passed away, Mr. Locksley was the oldest member of the Lukowitz family. His father worked in a pharmacy and also for Max Factor as a salesman. He listened to operas every weekend on the radio and Mr. Locksley learned how to appreciate and value great performances growing up in Chicago from his father, who won several telephone call-in contests. He learned to love fragrances and their histories from his father as well. He was very close to his mother who was a housewife. She and her sisters baked and canned vegetables together. Mr. Locksley learned his love of cooking from her and his aunts, especially his Aunt Freda. In fact, his family was filled with wonderful caring members who helped Mr. Locksley become the man he became. As a teenager, he worked as an usher and in the cloak rooms of many of the theaters of Chicago, which had live performances by famous people. Mr. Locksley fondly remembered meeting many who came through Chicago, most notably Sophie Tucker. He met and became friends with Jimmy Epenstein, who was a famous interior designer in Chicago. Mr. Epenstein took him to his first French restaurant where Mr. Locksley accidentally ordered scrambled eggs. Mr. Epenstein ordered the same. Later in life, Mr. Locksley learned and spoke French and Italian fluently but always told the story of Mr. Epenstein with great fondness. He moved to Columbus, Ohio for a brief time and then to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he arrived on a bus in a snowstorm wearing an opera cape. Never one to sit still, he checked into the YMCA and began working various jobs. In 1954, he met George Shea who was an Associate Professor in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of Minnesota. They started the Red Carpet Beauty Salon and Red Carpet Beauty College, eventually locating it downtown on Seventh Avenue. Mr. Locksley styled hair for a living and on the weekends, flew to national hair conventions for Revlon demonstrating haircuts up on the turning stage for the attending hair stylists.

Published in Miami Herald on Feb. 11, 2014
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