Bessie M. Harkey Locker, 93, passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord on December 30, 2022, at her home in Monahans, TX.
Bessie was born in Alpine, TX, on November 18, 1929, as the second of six children of Charles Clemath Cowell and Addie Louise Smith Cowell. She graduated from Alpine High School in 1947 and that same year was married to Claud Clayton Harkey. Bessie often lived the life of a true pioneer woman. She and Claud moved around throughout west Texas and Arizona, but most of their life with their three children was spent in Monahans, TX, across the street from her dear friend Katheryn White and her family. After being widowed unexpectedly in 1978, Bessie persevered and was the model of strength for her friends and family. She was a devoted Christian who was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church for many years before moving her membership to Shiloh Baptist Church.
In addition to being a devoted wife, mother, and GranGran, Bessie was a loving caretaker for countless other children and adults and was always ready to help anyone in need of a soft bed and a warm biscuit. Bessie’s love was often best expressed in her cooking: visitors never left without one of her special pound cakes, and her pecan pies were perennial winners at the Women’s Division of the Chamber of Commerce contest and auction. She was most proud of the years when her grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped her bake and won their own blue ribbons. Bessie also worked outside the home throughout the years in a variety of fields, including as a waitress at the Café Royal where she met her lifelong friend Hazel Lowry, and as a legal secretary for Murray Howze. Bessie served as the municipal judge for Thorntonville, TX, and worked for many years as bookkeeper for her friend and future husband, James Locker, at Locker Oil Company.
Bessie is preceded in death by her parents, by her first husband Claud and her second husband James, by her infant grandchildren Gregory Sisk and Jennifer Harkey, by her brother C.C. ‘Pete’ Cowell and his wife Ann, brother Lee Cowell and his wife Joanna, her brother Billy Cowell, and her brothers-in-law Brooks Myers and Wilbur Lindeburg. She is survived by two sisters, Marion Myers of Friendswood, TX and Gladys Lindeburg of Hondo, TX; by a sister-in-law, Betty Cowell of Alpine, TX; by her three children, Susan Dunn of Midland, TX, Mary Harkey of Monahans, TX, and Jim Harkey and his wife, Judy, of Atoka, OK; by 5 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 2:00 PM at Shiloh Baptist Church with Brother Jeppie Wilson and Brother David Lively officiating. Graveside services to follow with burial at Monahans Memorial Cemetery.
The family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Bessie’s many wonderful caregivers, especially D’Ann Bean of Sandhills Family Clinic and the nurses and staff of Home Hospice of Odessa. We are thankful for a life well-lived and for the many people who will carry on her legacy of love.