Local Legend Randy Lokke Dies at 62

Randy Lokke could often be seen on his bike around Georgetown.
Photo courtesy of Tim Warren
Randy Lokke could often be seen on his bike around Georgetown.

Randolph J. Lokke of Arlington, Va., died at the age of 62 Dec. 25, 2012. A funeral mass was offered Jan. 7 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, Va. He was buried at National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Va.

Lokke, known simply as "Randy" to most people who knew him, was a local legend. He was a quiet neighborhood curiosity who seemed always to be around. According to Zeff Yousef, athletic director at Georgetown Visitation, Randy was "part of the furniture of Georgetown." His ubiquity at high school sporting events spawned multiple Facebook groups and curiosity of whereabouts, including "Is Randy Random?" Randy was known for riding his bicycle everywhere he went and often had plastic bags on the handlebars. In Georgetown, Randy was often seen at Saxby's coffee, where he would get tea. Randy was a fixture at sports games at Gonzaga College High School, Georgetown Visitation Prep and high schools around Washington, D.C.

Approximately 100 people attended the funeral at St. Thomas More's, where Randy was a parishioner since his family moved to the area. There was no eulogy at the service. A reception at the church followed the burial. One of Randy's brothers, Ken Lokke, says that Randy was present at many different Catholic Youth Organization activities.

According to Ken Lokke, he and Randy were two of eight children, and their family moved to Arlington in 1958. Their mother insisted that Randy attend regular school despite being mentally challenged. In a tribute, one of Randy's sisters, Michele Quintana, wrote that Randy would likely be diagnosed with autism today. Randy Lokke graduated from Wakefield High School and worked at Washington Hospital Center sterilizing surgical tools for operating rooms. One person attending the funeral said that Lokke logged approximately 1,500 volunteer hours per year at the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center for the past 13 years. According to Ken Lokke, Randy's volunteer job at the VA Medical Center was as a transporter helping people in wheelchairs.

Randy was "very independent," said his brother Ken, who added that Randy lived in a basement apartment by himself in Arlington. Ken Lokke said that Randy was never married and never had any children. He believes Randy died of a heart attack. Randy was hospitalized for the second time for congestive heart failure over this past Thanksgiving.

Mac Kimmitt, who worked at the Italian Store in Arlington on Lee Highway from 2005 to 2010, said that Randy would often come into the store and ask for three or four slices of cheddar cheese. Kimmitt also said Randy would spend time at the nearby Starbucks.

Lokke often watched sports games at Georgetown Visitation. Yousef said that when he started at Visitation in 2000, "Randy was already sort of a legend." He would often watch Visitation soccer games from the fence along 35th Street. "Everyone knew who he was," said Yousef. "Over the last six or seven years, you wouldn't see him as much."

Steve Turner, head basketball coach at Gonzaga, said that he first remembers seeing Lokke around 1995. "He was a fixture at big WCAC games," he said. "It was amazing how he got to all those games on his bike."

Molly Quigley of the Clyde's Restaurant Group said that when she worked at the Tombs as a student, Lokke would often be in the restaurant listening to conversations, and he could recall everything later. "One time, he asked me how I did on a paper I had been talking about with my friends," Quigley said.

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Mon, 1 Sep 2014 03:37:20 -0400

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