Today I said goodbye to a giant of a man.
I had heard the name Dan Locke since the early 1990s, because a co-worker of mine took several trips to Kansas to assist in holding some industry training when alarm training was fairly new. Because of their lack of state licensing, the Kansas association was small, but they were still able to hold several training classes per year, thanks in no small part to the work of Norman Dayton, Darrell Henderson, and Dan Locke.
In 2001, I got to meet Dan when all of the instructors of a national industry association were summoned to Atlanta, GA for a meeting. The two instructors from Kansas, Norman and Dan, and the four of us from Arkansas had several meals together and were of the same mind when it came to state sponsored training. That is also when Dan went from a “fellow industry guy” to a friend.
Over the next 13 years, Dan and I have travelled together quite a bit. Teaching and attending classes in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Meetings in New York City, Washington DC, Las Vegas, Saint Louis, Baltimore, and Galveston, just to name a few. We solved many of the world’s problems while driving from Dallas to Galveston for the NESA/TBFAA meetings every fall.
As Dan and I would walk the show floors at the ISC shows, I would be looking for new products to sell to my customers, new add-ons to our central station, new ideas for generating RMR. Dan never seemed interested in that. Dan would ask each vendor if they could provide some trinket that he could give away to students in a Level I class.
He would look for show-and-tell items to use during fire training. He would look for ways to entice students to attend training to improve themselves so our industry would be better.
About two years ago, Dan and Darrell Henderson decided to merge their two companies and work together. During that process, Darrell discovered that he had lung cancer. Darrell’s battle greatly affected Dan, but even when Darrell lost that battle, Dan was committed to providing great customer service to their clients. Since then, he purchased another company and was feverishly trying to keep up with the work being created by growing his company 1,000%.
There are others that were lucky enough to spend time with Dan.
“I will miss Dan. He was one of the folks who committed lots of time and energy to the industry for long period of time. I think I first met him in 1991 and he had been at it for years at that point. He was always inquisitive and joyful and brought a unique perspective to things. He was always a small company and I know the efforts he put in meant long hours on his part to make up for the time he gave. He not only ran the local associations, but he trained hundreds of his competitors at years of training classes. He faced lots of challenges organizing things in Kansas, but he kept at it for over 20 years. There are not many with his dedication and perseverance around.” Brad Shipp –Executive Director, National Electronic Security Alliance.
“I appreciate the sacrifices individuals like Dan have made for our industry, to forfeit so others could benefit. A small company owner that paid thousands of dollars out of his own pocket for travel, countless hours away from his business and loved ones and the millions of heartbeats that he freely gave away simply for others.” - Rex E. Adams, President of American Security Devices.