With Fay’s father living in Sun Lakes in the early ‘90s, it was natural for her and Tal to visit from chilly South Dakota. Perhaps that was their only plan until they discovered SunBird and purchased a home in 1995. It wasn’t until 1997 that the Lockwoods began using it in winters.
“I was quite surprised how friendly and helpful the residents were when I came to look at SunBird,” said Fay.
Fay and Tal knew each other practically as toddlers, since their parents were neighbors in the South Dakota town of Doland, South Dakota, with its 500 population. Tal remembers dating her when in junior high. This progressed to marriage in 1952. There are five children, two grandkids and two great-grandchildren. Fay remarked, “We have much to be thankful for . . . our family, our health, and the many SunBird friends. We are truly blessed.”
Tal had a genuine appetite for sports while growing up. In high school, he excelled in football as linebacker and end while playing both defense and offence. He also ran track and played basketball and baseball.
At Huron College it was football, but his favorite, baseball, took him to semi-pro then professional with the New York Yankee farm teams as an outfielder. “I wore Joe DiMaggio’s uniform and was also friends with Mickey Mantle’s twin brothers.”
He also is a fine golfer, having won six club championships at Custer Country Club in South Dakota. Asked how he got into golf, he replied, “I just went out with a lot of fine golfers.”
For the first 17 years of marriage, Fay was a stay-at-home mother. Later, she became a medical assistant for 20 years.
The couple has resided several places, sometime due to Tal’s work. He began his South Dakota career as a conservation officer, then became regional director, moved to Game and Fish Park and later was Director of Custer Park, then to Ducks Unlimited as a property field supervisor. He also invented and marketed a predator call product and sold 125,000 of them.
Active and involved describes Tal and Fay who have always jumped into whatever it was with enthusiasm. Tal loves his golf, fishing, hunting, reading, crosswords and puzzles. The SunBird Community Church is dear to them. With Fay, he served on the steering board. “I really enjoyed working with such good folks,” Tal said.
For Fay, it’s three days a week playing bridge. She exercises religiously and works puzzles and crossword. She learned to play the organ at age 79 and purchased one so they can both learn. Family is also very important to them.
They have traveled extensively to Europe, throughout the United States, Hawaii, New Zeeland, Costa Rica and Canada.
Secret of their marriage? Tal says, “She’s the boss.” Fay adds, “We respect each other and give plenty of room.”
Their philosophy has succeeded, for this charming couple is still in love after 64 years.