Ingeborg Gertrude Lock, former dining hall director, died on November 23, 2018, at her home at Riverwoods Retirement Community, Exeter, New Hampshire. Ingeborg was born on July 9, 1928, in Chicago to Curt and Gertrude Lock, who, in the 1920s, had left Germany to move to the United States.
She grew up in Detroit, and in her family's winter home in Florida. Her introduction to her career in food service began when her father managed his own restaurant, and the family assisted by baking desserts and German breads. She began again in New York City after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality management from the University of Michigan and her Masters from Columbia University Teachers College.
In 1976, Ingeborg began working at UNH where she became a "legend" as the Director of UNH Dining into her retirement in 1997. TNH staff interviewed her prior to her retirement. She said, "It's not easy to make things successful, but food service here is a very satisfying endeavor particularly because the clientele gives me a lift. The students are bright, lively, young, irreverent and humorous. They keep me young. It's fun being with people who are exploring and growing up . . . it's nice to be a part of providing an important service to them." She spoke in praise of her smart, hardworking staff and delighted in their production of great work for the dining halls. "Her voice was full of pride when she explained the efficiency of the rotating ovens, the precision of the cookie-cutter machine and the versatility of the European broilers." These modern amenities were among her many improvements to student dining during her 20 years as director.
Attending professional development at the national level, Lock was well-known in the food service world. She perceived the impact that she had on UNH dining as measured by small, subtle increments that steadily built the program. She offered the perspective that "Life is a whole sequence of small, but important, things." Her modesty was clear while her work involved the largest food service program in the State of New Hampshire, feeding more than 10,000 students per day. The position is demanding and requires superb management skills, and her work brought about significant changes. She adjusted the dining experience to meet student schedules to include after-hour access and the beloved University Picnic celebrating the start of each academic year. Colleague Rick MacDonald remembers that, during the planning stage of the very first picnic, Inge had Jack Garnett (Huddleston Manager at the time) and Rick timing the cooks with stopwatches as they grilled burgers on gas grills. They used the data to figure out how many grills and how many cooks would be required to deliver the food at this massive event. Of course, the picnic went off without a hitch.
Inge may also be thanked for selecting and maintaining top-notch equipment, eliminating a significant amount of food waste, instituting inventory management, and menu-forecasting. She established the program "Great Cooks on Campus" that brought to UNH such renowned chefs as Madeleine Kammon - French Feast; Margaret and Franco Romagnoli - The Romagnoli's Table: A Festa Italiana; Ken Hom - Asian Influence on American Cuisine; Jim Dodge and Michela Larson - Taste of Europe; Paula Wolfert - Moroccan demonstration and dinner; and Joan Harlow - Taste of New Hampshire. Over a period of years, this program began attracting the discerning eye of the National Association for College and University Food Services. Dining Services continues the legacy by winning awards and high praise for the innovations of creative recipes, menus and special services.
In the 1990's when colleague Caroline Giles knew her, Inge was established in her position as the organized, determined and conscientious manager who led the program with knowledge, experience and grace. At the time, Caroline was Director of the UNH Dietetic Internship Program arranging for post-graduate students to experience a variety of nutrition-related activities in the areas of Food Service, Clinical Nutrition and Community Nutrition. At first, Inge was reluctant to have her managers take on the mentorship of students in food service - considering their already busy schedules - yet she recognized the value of mentoring students and agreed to invite her staff to provide training and experience in food service operations. Giles reported that the interns were richer for the experience as some went on to find professional employment in hospitals, medical clinics and community food programs.
In her leisure, Ingeborg was an avid hiker, and she was presented a 50-Year Membership Award for her dedication to the Appalachian Mountain Club. Her favorite hike was in the trails of Crawford Notch. She loved the mountains and her fellow travelers there. She enjoyed reading, doing crossword puzzles and being the best possible companion to her beloved cats. Ingeborg adored travel, and after the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, she visited regularly with relatives from her mother’s side of the family in Leipzig and Dresden.
She was a pillar of her church and a philanthropist to organizations helping the earth in peril, as well as giving to women, children and families in need.
A gathering in her honor to tell the stories of her life will be held on Sunday, December 16 at 11:30 am at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter on 12 Elm Street, Exeter. A light lunch will be served. All are welcomed.
Those who wish to donate in her name may give to the Southeast Land Trust of NH, 6 Center Street, Exeter; or to the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Exeter, 12 Elm Street.