OBITUARY: Winona McBee Locke


Winona McBee Locke, 88, of Columbia, Tennessee, passed away on Sunday, June 16, 2024, at Maury Regional Medical Center due to heart failure.

Born on March 30, 1936, in Sewanee, Tennessee, Winona was the daughter of the late Hubert Clyde McBee and the late Avalene Brooks McBee.

She attended Columbia Central High School and graduated from Franklin County High School in 1954. She pursued further education at Tennessee Tech University and Columbia State Community College. On June 1, 1956, she married Howard “Buck” Glenn Locke, and they shared sixty-eight wonderful years together until his passing on April 14, 2024.

In 1961, the couple moved to Atlanta, and in 1974, they returned to Columbia, Tennessee. Winona dedicated many years to Monsanto Chemical Company, and in 1985, she became one of the first local employees at Saturn, where she worked until her retirement in April 2001.

Winona was a woman of many talents and passions. She loved sewing and creating clothes for her children in their younger years. She was also a gifted photographer, taking over 30,000 photos of her loved ones and always having her camera out for every special event, like birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Known for her quick wit, sharp intellect, and delicious cooking, Winona was adored by her children and held the family together with her unwavering love and dedication. She made each family member feel special on their birthdays by baking a cake and preparing a dinner of their choice. All who knew her admired her vibrant personality, strong moral compass, and devoted honesty.

She was a passionate collector with diverse interests, gathering an extensive collection of items acquired while traveling worldwide. Alongside her husband, she visited countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Sweden, Turkey, Greece, western and middle Canada, and all of the US states except Alaska. She maintained friendships with people she met from many countries and continued traveling into her 80s.

With a love for competition, she enjoyed playing tennis and participating in Bridge clubs. Winona loved animals and technology and was deeply involved in her community, volunteering at Maury Regional Medical Center and with Friendship Force, and until recently, at the Maury County Library.

Additionally, she was an active member of the Red Hat Society, participated in the Maury County Benefit Ball, and was a longtime member of First United Methodist Church, where she was active in the Bruce Strother Sunday School Class.

She is survived by her children, Britton Glenn (Molly) Locke of Milan, TN, Jennifer Winona (Brent Lee) Craig of Cornersville, TN, Matthew Brooks Locke of Columbia, TN, sister, JoAnn McBee Coutta, grandchildren, Amanda Elaine (Matt Correia) Craig, Andrew Glenn (Mark Baldwin, Jr.) Locke, John Lawrence Locke, Christopher Brandon (Allison Yates) Locke, Alexander Lee Craig, great-grandchildren, Jaclyn Simone Locke, Emilia “Emi” Rose Locke, Salem Everette Locke, sister-in-law, Peggy Blodgett, and a host of nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.

Along with her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Hubert Gerald McBee, mother and father-in-law, Walter Tilmon Locke and Estelle Choran Locke, brother-in-law, Henry Walter (Wilma Murell) Locke, and sisters-in-law, Joann Locke (Wilbur C.) Pritchett and Julia Faye Locke.

A Celebration of Life for Winona will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 11:00 AM at Heritage Funeral Home with Pastor Stephen Sauls of the Columbia First United Methodist Church officiating. A visitation will be held on Friday, June 21, 2024, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM and again on Saturday from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at the funeral home. On a future date, she will be laid to rest in Maury Memorial Gardens Mausoleum, to forever rest alongside her beloved husband, Buck.

Honorary pallbearers will include Winona’s nieces and nephews, Ron Sellers, Al & Verna Frey, Freddie Fitzgerald, and members of the Bruce Strother Sunday School Class.

The family would like to extend special recognition to Dr. Gibran Naddy and Dr. Amit Choksi for their care of Winona and to her caregiver and companion, Margo Lee. Also special thanks to the staff of Morning Pointe of Columbia for their excellent care and love.


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