Sturgis Homicide Victim Was A Prominent Business Leader, Philanthropist

Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-03 10:39:49-04

The community of Sturgis is coming together to remember businessman David Locey, 70.

He was found shot to death in his accounting practice on North Nottawa Road early Wednesday morning.

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor said he died of a gunshot wound to the head.

He was found by an employee who arrived at the office for work and then called 911.

He was last seen at around 7:15 am at a local convenience store, then found dead less than an hour later at his office.

Prosecutor John McDonough said that the employee who found him and then called police is not a suspect in this case.

However, they did arrest a man who is a person of interest in the investigation on a charge other than homicide.

District Court clerks said that Andy Brown will be arraigned Thursday afternoon.

Friends of the Locey family said he is facing charges related to the investigation.

Meanwhile, friends, stunned by the news of Locey’s death, remembered him as a prominent and well-respected member of the community.

“I never heard him say the Lord’s prayer, but he lived it,” said Don Eaton, Locey’s business partner and friend of 23 years. “If you were to ask the community instead of myself, first thing you’d hear was town father. Another one, extremely active…hospital board, the board of Glen Oaks. Just left the board for the chamber of commerce.”

Glen Oaks Community College said David Locey served on the Glen Oaks Community College Board of Trustees from 1995 through 2011. He was named the Second Annual Distinguished Alumni for 2003-2004 by Glen Oaks Community College.

He was currently serving with the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce as their Secretary-Treasurer, although he’d also served as president there in the past. Friends there say he was on his third term with the chamber board. The chamber said he was their biggest cheerleader and advocate for businesses in the community.

He also currently serves on the board at Sturgis Hospital.

When Eaton and others discovered Locey had been shot and killed in the very business he built from the ground up, they were devastated. Eaton said Locey had used that very business to help others.

“He brought in and employed a lot of people,” said Eaton. “He helped myself save a business four years ago when the recession hit to keep people employed.”

Eaton said Locey was also a fan of the outdoors and nature.

“Huge, in fact, next weekend he was leaving for the Grand Canyon to go do the one-day walk from down to the bottom to straight up,” Eaton said. He was also planning on taking a group from Sturgis with him to enjoy the beauty of the canyon.

Locey also ran the Timberly Tree farm on his property and used it to help others as well.

“He’s even given away trees for those new young homeowners who can’t afford to help ascetically decorate the outsides of their home,” said Eaton.

The Locey family is pulling together now at their farm with a large number of people poised and ready to help them as they try to deal with this sudden tragedy.

“Dave has 400 members of that Elk’s lodge straight across that lake who all want to help at once,” said Eaton. “There are a ton of Kiwanis that all want to help at once. He’s got a city of individuals who may want to all help at once. I wouldn’t be surprised tonight if there was an army here.”