Louisville Contractor Killed In Iraq

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Jim Lockard, a civil engineer from Louisville working for a contractor overseeing the rebuilding of Iraqi schools and hospitals, was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad, his wife told the Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.

"He felt he was really doing something good in Iraq," where he had been working for about three years, said his wife, Maria Lockard of Louisville.

She said yesterday that she had seen her husband the second week in April, when she met him in Jamaica. The couple have two daughters, Danielle, 16, and Nicole, 13, "who were his life," his wife said.

She said two Kentucky State Police troopers came to her house off Bardstown Road on Friday to tell her of her husband's death, reports the C-J.

"He wasn't in so much danger. He always worked in the office and seldom left," she said. "He felt pretty safe. He didn't have to go out," but he apparently wanted to see one of his projects that had been completed.

She said her husband didn't see a lot of devastation and would frequently send home pictures of Iraqi children, reports the newspaper.

"He was going to come home for good in July," she said, adding that she had never been to Iraq. "He felt he was on the adventure of his life."

Her husband was 46 and was raised in Louisville before moving to Marshall County, where he attended Marshall County High School. He received his engineering degree from the University of Kentucky. The couple lived in Louisville before he left for Iraq, the newspaper reports.

He worked for several Kentucky-based companies as an engineering project manager before signing on with the Louis Berger Group, an overseas contractor. Its Web site says the company, which has headquarters in Morristown, N.J., offers a wide range of engineering services. Attempts to reach the company were unsuccessful, the C-J reports.

His wife said Lockard "was a great outdoorsman. ... He was an awesome guy, who would give you the shirt off his back."

The couple belonged to St. Raphael Catholic Parish. She said she taught at St. Raphael School for six years before recently switching to teach Spanish at Our Lady of Lourdes.

Other survivors include his parents, Jim and Jan Lockard of Paducah, two brothers, Russ Lockard of Antioch, Tenn., and Martin Lockard of Paducah, and a sister, Ellen Shunks, of Farmington, Mo. Funeral arrangements are pending, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Copyright - The Louisville Courier-Journal

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