Judge Thomas “Tom” Lockyear, the man who was appointed to Vanderburgh Superior Court in 1985 to replace former Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard, died Wednesday.
Lockyear, 79, practiced law for 28 years before Gov. Robert Orr appointed him to take Shepard’s place on the bench. Lockyear was a Superior judge for 12 years before retiring and taking senior status.
Lockyear comes from a family of attorneys: his brother and father were attorneys; his grandfather was the first probate judge of Vanderburgh County and later served on the Indiana Court of Appeals.
He was a United States Army Veteran who served in the Korean War. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and passed the bar in 1957. He was also a certified mediator, former public defender, justice of the peace and county attorney.
Lockyear served on the boards of the Indiana Judges Association and Judicial Conference of Indiana, and received the James Bethel Grisham Freedom Award from the Evansville Bar Association.
He is survived by his wife, Nina Lockyear; daughter Jane Miller (Rob); son, Steve Lockyear (Krista); stepdaughter, Lisa Ochsner; stepson Jeff Horsketter; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
A service will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at Browning Funeral Home, 738 Diamond Ave., Evansville, with visitation from 2 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Evansville Rescue Mission or the Evansville Boys and Girls Club.