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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Jan 8, 2013 at 9:23 AM John Little

I wish I had the opportunity to have met Randy,he sounds like a person the world needs more of.As we speed through our"internet"world racing from one place to the next,take the time to look around,smell the air,feel the sun on your face and give thanks for people like Randy,we all have a purpose in life and I think Randy's was to make us smile...

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Jan 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM Katie B

Randy wasn't just a sports fan. He loved the arts, and attended nearly every musical and theater performance I gave in high school. We'd often talk after, and he remembered every detail of my life that I shared with him.
Randy was such a beautiful soul, but sadly, he was often misunderstood. Thank you for shedding some light on his life. He will be missed.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 7:34 AM Colleen

I played soccer and softball for the Academy of the Holy Cross from 1995-2000. Randy would be at almost every single home game cheering our teams on. He was the sweetest, most quiet and dedicated supporter of youth sports in the area. He will definitely be missed.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM Patrick M.

I briefly worked at the Italian Store with Mac. I never knew Mr. Lokke's name but do remember him coming to the Store from time to time, and he was spotted here and there around the county. He seemed like a very nice person. It's strangely devastating news to me, frankly.
Sincerest condolences to Mr. Lokke's family.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM Kim Whelan

Thank you for such a great article about Randy!

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Jan 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM Don

As a biker myself for over 30 years in asrlington, I would see him periodically and would say hi. He will be missed.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 10:09 AM Cathy Tyskowski

Randy was such a fixture at St. Thomas More Church and school. He would show up for all our different activities, and even in bad weather, never accepted a ride home. He will truly be missed.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM Annie C.

This is a wonderful article about Randy. He was always arount at STM And O'Connell and always had a kind smile to offer. Thank you for paying tribute to him.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM Margaret Angus

What a great article about Randy. I attended STM with Randy and graduated with him at Wakefield. He was such a sweetheart

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Jan 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM Jennifer L

I too attend STM so have seen him there for so many events and 11 AM Mass on Sundays. I also worked at the VA Medical Center for 8 years, and saw how hard Randy worked there in his transporter role. I too am strangely effected by the news of his passing. I am sure STM provided a good send off for him.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 11:48 AM Kristin S

Randy used to ride his bike around our neighborhood in Arlington all the time. I attended STM and O'Connell and remember seeing him at church and different events in the area as well. He was a very nice man, always had a smile for you. It's wonderful to hear how appreciated he was.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 12:10 PM Ann Kelly

Thank you for the wonderful article about Randy, he deserved it.
He was truly one of God's Messengers.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM Donna Brown

Hi, I work in the music department at The Cathedral of St. Thomas More, and yes, indeed, Randy was a fixture of STM long before I got there. I understand that Randy, as a young boy, sang in the Boys' Choir, under the direction of Mr. Cardone, at his mother's prompting. He loved music, and often came into the choir room, to ask about a certain piece that we sang. He attended daily Mass, and was often at Mass on Sundays, when he was able to be there, and attended most events that were held at the Cathedral, including many choir concerts. You hardly ever thought of Randy without seeing his bicycle parked outside. Thank you for the beautiful tribute to a long-time parishioner of the Cathedral. He had a beautiful funeral service and a wonderful tribute. The ladies of the Women's Council served, in his memory, a beautiful farewell luncheon after the funeral for his family and friends.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 2:16 PM Rachel

I went to Wakefield when Randy was there and am sad to learn of his passing. My condolences to his family.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM Margaret Alvord

Thank you for the article about Randy. He seemed like a gentle giant (very tall) and was very soft spoken and articulate. He will be missed in the community.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 6:59 PM Kristine

What of his sister Maureen? Is she still living?

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Jan 9, 2013 at 8:42 PM Lauren

Wonderful tribute. I also attend STM and saw him regularly - he also rode around my neighborhood on his bike. He sure worked that bike, didn't he?

What a fantastic tribute. I am reminded of St Therese of Lisseux - he was a gentle, quiet little flower - and those are the flowers that are closest to God's heart.

I strongly suspect he is right next to his God right now - happy and at peace. What a wonderful thought.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM Kenneth Lokke

My entire family appreciated your kind and well written article. Thank you so much and his sister Maureen is still living.

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Jan 9, 2013 at 10:16 PM The Hogans

We were neighbors of Randy and his family when we lived in Arlington. So sorry to hear about his passing. He was truly a legend! Our condolences to his family.

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Jan 10, 2013 at 6:25 AM S. Hogan

I remember growing up and seeing Randy at STM coffee and doughnuts after Mass. He would always have a cup of coffee and come up to the kids playing and ask how we were and how we were doing in school. He was always kind and loving and loved to talk and listen. Even after I moved away from the area I always thought about him and wondered how he was doing. I pray he is happily riding his bike in Heaven with God.

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Jan 10, 2013 at 9:57 AM Pat O'Donnell

Mr. Dodd -- This is a lovely article. Thank you, and thanks to your editors for running it.

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Jan 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM Jonathan Dwyer

Legend.

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Jan 10, 2013 at 8:41 PM S Swift

I grew up at STM and remember talking to Randy many a times at church and in the neighborhood. I lived down the street from Randy and was always happy to chat with him when he would stop on his rides around the neighborhood or at church. He will be missed.

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Jan 12, 2013 at 11:47 AM Joe Kress

Although my recent conversation with Randy was short, I was deeply impressed by his gentle but strong spirit. He was warm and caring, and patient and long-suffering man. I recall his interest and concern for his family. He was a loving brother and a tribute to a loving family and circle of friends. Although I only recently met Randy, he will remain an inspiration. As written above, Randy was one of God's messengers, but I will add that he surely was one of God's friends such as described in Isiah 37:17, "In your love you kept me". His trust in the Love of God was the message. It was evident in his fortitude.

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Feb 1, 2013 at 11:10 AM Andy

THoughts and prayers to his family. He would always come to games, football and basketball at Good Counsel when we were in Wheaton and once or twice in OLney. Very nice man. My Daughter was a cheerleader in 2005, 2006 and they always would say hello to him and vice versa. Knew he worked at a hospital- did not know which.
Sorry for your loss and alot of people knew and liked him.
We worked the gate at games and always let Randy in and had a place to park his bike.

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Feb 1, 2013 at 1:13 PM Thomas Noël

I once gave Randy a ride home from an Our Lady of Good Counsel basketball game. I used to see him frequently @ Good Counsel basketball games.

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Feb 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM Jay

Wow...Sounds like Randy was a super, super guy. Nice article. Sounds like God has blessed him.

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Mar 28, 2013 at 1:09 PM Marie McDonough

Its people like Randy that makes the world go around.Different isn"t bad just different. R.I.P.Randy.

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Jun 25, 2013 at 2:30 PM Keith Florence

Randy was always a welcome sight to me. He made me smile and feel happy just to see him around. Somehow it was always reassuring to me seeing him here and there. He was a "fixture" I suppose you could say. I feel an emptiness and sadness at knowing I won't see him anymore. Though I didn't know him personally he was in my Wakefield High School class. He seemed like a kind and gentle person with no put-on. We don't know how much someone we don't even know means to us....until they're gone. God bless Randy and his family.

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Jul 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM Christine

This was the same Randy that stalked Veta Gran Susteren for 7 years.

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