Larry Lokai of Urbana was one of nine alumni from The Ohio State University to be honored at the annual 2016 Alumni Awards held at The Ohio Union on March 5. He taught at Northwestern-Clark High School from 1967 to 1989 and was named the Ohio Vocational Teacher of the Year in 1985 while the Northwestern-Clark program was selected as the Outstanding Vocational Agriculture Program in 1988 for Ohio and one of the top six in the nation.
During his 30-year career he coached and advised 195 top 10 judging teams with 120 winning banners, 23 state champion judging teams in 11 areas with 75 teams advancing to regional and national competition. Additionally he advised five state FFA officers, five state FFA public speaking winners plus three state champion parliamentary procedure teams. Seventeen students earned the American FFA Degree with 81 earning the Ohio FFA State Degree.
Upon retirement he coached state winning teams from Versailles FFA and West Liberty-Salem FFA and has continued to work with over 20 schools and FFA programs. From 1998 to 2001 he was an adjunct instructor at The Ohio State University, coaching the OSU Poultry Team to top five finishes in the nationals. Since 1983 he has been a judge and committee member of the National FFA Poultry Career Development Committee and from 1986 to 2006 was a member of the National FFA Milk Quality and Products Committee.
For 36 years Lokai was a field inspector for the Ohio Certified Seed Improvement Association and spent 25 years as a Division of Wildlife Hunter Education Instructor. In 1997 he received the 4-H Ruby Clover Award for serving as a 30 4-H Advisor.
For the past 48 years he has been a Junior Fair Poultry Judge and has judged in 82 Ohio counties and 96 shows in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and California.
Upon retirement, he was on the Urbana City Council nine-and-a-half years, twice was president of Champaign County Retired Teachers and President of Ohio Hi-Point Alumni and Friends board. In 1998 he became OSU Buckeyeman and has supplied fans and students 1,300,000 buckeyes, 35,000 buckeye necklaces and donated over 1200 buckeye seedlings.
He is married to Elaine Caldwell-Lokai, and has four children, Shelly Gier of West Liberty, Susan Farr of Paulding, Brad Lokai of Centerville and Amy Denlinger of Versailles. He has 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Submitted by Larry Lokai.