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Brandon:'Cindy was a natural born teacher'

April 02, 2014 - On Tuesday, April 1, Cindy Locey was at work in the Brandon School District, doing what she loved— teaching reading to students at Harvey Swanson Elementary.

That evening, her students, the community and her family and friends suffered the loss of a child advocate amd dedicated wife and mother when Locey died at Genesys Regional Medical Center after battling a long illness.

She was 38.

"As a teacher, she was one I would look to for advice, especially on primary learners— she had such an instinct for what their needs are and what we can do to help them," said Andy Phillips, principal of Harvey Swanson Elementary. "She'd been here a long time... There are certain people as you go through your career that you turn to and she was my go-to person for language arts and child development."

In a letter composed by Phillips, as well as Oakwood Elementary Principal Kristy Spann and Coy Stewart, former principal of Belle Ann Elementary and assistant principal at Brandon Fletcher Intermediate School, it was noted that Locey had worked in the district for 15 years, mostly at Belle Ann teaching kindergarten and first grade, but also as a teacher of young 5s in the district, and for the last few years, as a literacy specialist in the elementaries.

The "teacher of teachers" helped her colleagues to improve and "had a tremendous instinct for the needs of the youngest learners. The letter noted that Cindy Locey had a code she lived by: "Children may not remember everything you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel. So for me, I want to make them feel loved, safe, funny, smart, independent, wanted and needed."

"Cindy was a natural born teacher," said Superintendent Lorrie McMahon. "She gave her heart and soul to her students and our district. She will be very much missed.

Cindy was born in Flint on June 28, 1975, the daughter of Calvin and Katherin (Darby) Naber. On December 17, 1994 she married Mark A. Locey. Her life revolved around her family and friends. Surviving are husband, Mark; three children, Ben, Ella and Jack; mother, Katherine Naber; siblings, Cliff Naber, Nancy (Scott) Ferguson, Susan (Bill) Swift, and Eric (Katy) Naber; brother-in-law James (Kristy) Locey; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Janice and Carl Locey; and nieces and nephews, Alex, Madison and Adam, Samantha and Sophia, and Ryan and Nolan. She was preceded in death by her father, Calvin Naber.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., today, Saturday, April 5, at the Swartz Funeral Home, 1225 West Hill Road, Flint. Pastor Mike Harris officiating. A luncheon will follow at 4:30 p.m. at the Genesys Athletic Club. Burial in Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to one of the following: the CCFA/Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, or Downs Syndrome Connection, Visitation until the time of the service at the funeral home. Condolences may be shared with the family at

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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