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Tom Lockwood

1957 - 2019
Tom Lockwood Obituary
Tom Lockwood

1957 - 2019

"The world is a tough place, so do we become tougher or do we soften? Do we run from unpleasantness or do we face the storm and lean into the wave of difficulties, realizing we are not alone?"

Tom Lockwood, father, husband, friend, asked that question and answered it through a life full of love, laughter, hope, forgiveness and grace. Tom fought a four-year battle against cancer and on Wednesday, Nov. 6, he was physically taken from the many people who love him. But the impact he had on so many lives is beyond description.

He often wrote about his relationships to family, friends, strangers and Jesus Christ. These "love letters" to the church told of the prayers of our church family, and the prayers of many outside our church body, which have been life-giving and full of hope. Our family is eternally grateful for the continued concern and prayers.

"Our lives here on earth are so short. What do we do with the time we have? I'll tell you what we do. We live every precious moment as fully as we can."

Tom lived that goal, and thanks to him, our lives were and are filled with laughter. His story about a certain incident in high school would set him off laughing so hard he couldn't breathe. We made sure he told that story to every new face at our dinner table just so we could laugh at how hard he was laughing,

The possum battles. The family nerf gun fights. The pea shooter wars. The world's best chocolate oatmeal cookies. His love notes left for his wife on an almost daily basis. And then there are his words of wisdom, written over time and carefully filed away, apparently for the family's benefit today … clip your toenails so your socks will last longer. Don't hesitate to return a frying pan you've been using for the past 5 years. Return spoiled milk (never mind that it spoiled in our refrigerator) and get your money back. Laugh often and love deeply and share your faith with anyone who will stand still long enough.

"While I was on job sites, God put people in my path. Pat came up to me and noticed my Bible in my truck and gave his testimony along the side of the road. A few days later he was trying to get one of my employees to read the Bible. Then there was Daniel. A guy after my own heart. He rode his bike up to me and told me all his troubles. When I told him I would pray for him I expected him to nod and move on. He did not nod and move on. He looked into my face and said 'would you pray for me now?' I was overwhelmed. The woman in Chowchilla whose nephew had just been killed. We prayed together in the middle of an alley that my company had just paved. When I am weak he is strong."

Tom's immediate family is itself a miracle. He and Nancy married and became a blended family with three last names. With his humor, deep love and determination, the unblended family became beautifully blended. He leaves behind his wife, Nancy; daughter Amanda Pile, son-in-law Ben and grandchildren Parker and Sully; eldest son Kenny Lockwood and daughter-in-law Bridgette; younger son Brian Hampel, daughter-in-law Kassi and grandsons Trevor, Zak and Dean; his brother Jeff; and sister-in-law Kathy. He is predeceased by his parents John and Marian Lockwood and his brother, Ken.

"I don't believe Heaven is waiting for me, or for anyone else for that matter. You see, Heaven is here now. As Jesus taught, God's kingdom is among us, within us. Believe this, live this, and you truly will be set free."

A celebration of Tom's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at Visalia United Methodist Church, 5200 W. Caldwell, followed by a potluck reception.
Published in Tulare Advance-Register & Visalia Times-Delta from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9, 2019
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