TOPEKA—Former Kansas Supreme Court Justice Tyler Charles Lockett, 87, died Saturday, November 28, from COVID-19.
Lockett was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1983 by then-Governor John Carlin. He retired from the court in 2003. Prior to his appointment he was a Sedgwick County District Court judge and a private practice attorney.
Lockett was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and grew up in Wichita. He graduated from Washburn University, then served four years in the U.S. Navy as a pilot and an air intelligence. Lockett returned to Topeka and graduated from Washburn University School of Law in 1962. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserves until retiring as captain in 1986.
He married Sue Warburton, and they raised two sons. His wife and son Charles preceded him in death. Survivors include his son Patrick, a grandson, a great-granddaughter, and two brothers.
“Even as we are saddened by Justice Lockett’s passing, we are honored by his long and outstanding service to the people of Kansas as a trial court judge and Supreme Court justice," Chief Justice Marla Luckert said. "Our thoughts are with the justice’s son Patrick and the other members of his family.”
Former Chief Justice Lawton Nuss said the two met when Nuss joined the Supreme Court in fall 2002.
"We soon hit it off, perhaps when I learned he had been a Navy aviator like my father," Nuss said. "Justice Lockett’s many years in the U.S. military and an almost equal number of years in the Kansas judiciary show just how devoted he was to serving others. He was a good man and a good colleague, and he helped teach me what it takes to be both."