Breckenridge Texan

John Lockhart

John Lockhart
March 28
09:13 2022

John Lockhart, 92, of Breckenridge, passed away at his residence on Thursday, March 24, 2022. His graveside service will be a private, family-only event; however, the family will hold a public memorial service for John Lockhart on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Breckenridge. All who knew John are invited to attend.

John Mack Lockhart was born on March 27, 1929, in Robinson, Illinois, to Ruth (McCrillis) Lockhart and Harold B. Lockhart. Though his father worked in the steel mills around Chicago, John’s early years were spent in Gary, Indiana, where he grew up and graduated high school. He spent his summers on the family farm near Palestine, Illinois, and had many fond memories of working with his grandfather and uncle Mack at the farm.

John worked in the steel mills a short time before briefly attending Iowa State. He joined the US Air Force in 1951 and went to flight school, where he learned to fly about every aircraft that had wings or rotors. He married Roy Jean Ritchey on September 2, 1953, and was sent to Tule, Greenland, to fly search and rescue missions shortly thereafter. Upon returning from Greenland and being honorably discharged from the US Air Force, he served as a civilian helicopter flight instructor at Fort Walters in Mineral Wells from 1957 until 1961. He loved flying, and in later years, he really enjoyed visits where he was asked about the aircraft he flew while in the military.

When Hubbard Creek Lake was constructed in 1961, he moved to Breckenridge to help the Ritchey family relocate their ranch from what is now the bottom of the lake to the Necessity community east of Breckenridge. He became a full-time farmer and rancher after the move was completed. John was active in Little League baseball in the early 1960s. He also served as one of the original directors of the Stephens Co. Rural Water District, which was instrumental in getting the rural water system for Stephens County established and operational.

John served as President of Stephens Co Farm Bureau. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church, serving many years as a Deacon as well as serving on the Session. He was also very involved with the youth groups. He received the Stephens County Ag Citizen of the year honor in 1973 and was very active in 4H and FFA projects. There is no telling how many show lambs and steers he helped trim for the participants of the county livestock show.

He was born in an era when nothing was broken; it was just temporarily out of service. He would not throw anything away because it might have a part that could be used to fix something later. He had pieces and parts for everything imaginable and knew where to find the majority of them. He loved to tinker and could fix almost anything. Many of his treasures still remain in the barn. John was quite the practical joker and loved to prank his friends and family. He loved old western movies and, in his later years, watched them on the Grit channel as often as he could get control of the remote.

John was preceded in death by both parents along with one brother, Harold Wayne Lockhart. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Roy Jean Lockhart; daughter, Susan L. Kohler (Terry); son, Donald Lockhart; four grandchildren, Bret Lockhart (Betsy), Cody Lockhart, Tyler Kohler (Kate), and Brady Kohler (Kim); and five great-grandchildren, Eli, Joshua, Luke Lockhart, Vincent, and Anna Kohler

A special thank you to our Solaris Hospice family and private caregivers. They have been such a blessing to him and the family.

Memorial donations in John’s name can be made to either the Friends of Historic Breckenridge or the Swenson Memorial Museum and can be left at Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home. Condolences can be made online at meltonkitchens.com.

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