Making Dreams Come True Since 1974
High school sweethearts David and Denise Lokey, of Princeton, Texas, have been married for 45 years, and love living the log home life. Similar to their early beginnings as high school quarterback and homecoming queen, the Lokeys log home story sounds like it was simply meant to be.
“We had been vacationing in the area where our log home is for 10 years or so, and we had always wanted to purchase land there, but nothing was ever for sale,” Denise shared. “Until one day, on Valentine’s Day to be exact, we were on a hike, and we came to the top of a hill and there was a “for sale” sign. I told David to pull the sign up, because we were buying this place!”
“Until then, we hadn’t thought about building a log home,” David said. “We fell in love with the area first, and once we found a place to buy, we knew that a traditional home just wouldn’t fit this area.”
Sold on Southern Hospitality & Authenticity
While the geographic location of the Lokeys’ log home lent itself to log cabins, it was the people that made their log home company of choice clear.
“We started looking online at photos, and researching log home builders and companies, and that’s when we discovered Satterwhite Log Homes,” Denise said. “We made an appointment at their main office in Longview, Texas, and met with several of the salesmen. We toured the model home, and our salesman Blake, let us tour his home as well. The entire office had a very friendly atmosphere.”
The Lokeys visited Satterwhite Log Homes in 2018, and were fortunate to meet Sam Satterwhite, the company’s president at the time (see sidebar).
“Sam was very outgoing, and answered all of the questions we had,” David said. “He came in to meet us while we were visiting with our salesman, and invited us to stay and have lunch with the employees. We shared lunch and talked like we had known each other forever. He immediately made us feel at home. We knew from the moment we arrived at the office, that we wanted Satterwhite to build our log cabin.”
“In fact, Sam personally came up to the cabin during construction on three different occasions. He may tell all of his customers this, but he told us it was the most beautiful location they had ever built a cabin on,” David shared.
“We know the company will keep that legacy going,” Denise said. “He was one-of-a-kind, and that’s what sold us. Everyone was just very friendly, and Travonda (Satterwhite) was extremely helpful and nice throughout the process as well.”
Patience Through the Process
The Lokeys’ log home building experience was affected by nature, a pandemic, inventory shortages, you name it. But in the end, it was worth the wait.
“It was about a three-year journey by the time it was completed,” David said. “It took some time to get the plans the way we wanted them. We started with one builder, but ended up switching to Satterwhite. We made several modifications to the original floorplan to accommodate the geographic features of our land, and the beautiful surroundings.”
“An open floor plan was important to me,” Denise said, “and I liked the way the Stone Ridge plan had the upstairs loft with a bedroom on each side.” “And of course the wraparound porch was an important feature to enjoy the view of the river.”
“We extended the plans by two feet on all sides, added a custom walkout basement, and moved the fireplace location from the wall facing the entrance, so that we could have all windows to overlook the river,” David said.
“Then, once we finally had our plans finalized, it started raining,” David shared. “And it rained for about two years after that!”
The Lokeys laugh about the experience now, but it definitely brought life to the old saying, “when it rains, it pours”.
“In a place where it rarely rains that much, it rained at least every other week, if not every single week, for about two years,” Denise shared. “With the extensive rain, and then the COVID pandemic, it took over two years for the build to be completed, but now that it’s complete, it was well worth the wait.”
The pandemic presented its own set of challenges and delays, with crews and tradesmen not being able to cross state lines early on, and then availability of appliances and interior finishing items being difficult to obtain. Although, one challenge turned out to be a positive experience for the Lokeys.
“Due to COVID, I was forced to work remotely and do everything from my computer and phone, and that meant I could work from anywhere,” David said. “That allowed us to watch the entire construction process, from just a few miles down the road. That was a great experience to watch it go up, and then be able to move in and live and work there.”
Living the #LogHomeLife
The Lokeys’ log home is primarily used as their vacation home, and offers a completely different experience than a traditional home.
“Our primary residence is a traditional brick home,” Denise shared. “When we get to our log home though, I immediately feel like I’m on vacation the entire time we’re there. It’s just so relaxing and peaceful.”
David agrees that there is something different about log home life versus a more traditional brick and mortar home.
“The difference is that your legs get tired from climbing all of the stairs,” David said jokingly.
Joking aside, David shared they have fully embraced log home living, and spend much of their time on the river kayaking, tubing, and fishing.
“You just feel like you’re on a permanent vacation,” David said.
Soon, the Lokeys’ log home will be host to a family reunion with their three grown children, their spouses, and nine grandchildren. This will be the first time for their two sons to see the log home, and the first time in five years for them all to be together. Their oldest son is in the U.S. Navy, and their middle son serves in the U.S. Marine Corps and has been stationed overseas.
It is not, however, the first time for their grandchildren to see it, as their 11-year old granddaughter has big plans for her future at the log home.
“She thinks it’s a mansion, and would love to live there permanently, and just be homeschooled,” Denise said. “She’s already made all of the plans for her wedding to be there.” ACLM
8405 US Highway 259 N, Longview, Texas 75605
Toll Free (800) 777-7288, Voice (903) 663-1729
14378 Highway 515 N, Ellijay, Georgia 30536
Toll Free (800) 918-6881, Voice (706) 636-6881
911 East Highway 89N, Gunnison, Utah 84634
Toll Free (888) 882-4645, Voice (435) 528-5001
Tribute to Sam Satterwhite
November 30, 1951 – November 14, 2020
In late September of 2020, Sam Satterwhite, President of Satterwhite Log Homes, became ill while visiting their Georgia office, and was hospitalized with COVID-19. After fighting fiercely, Sam entered Heaven’s gates on November 14, 2020, due to complications from the horrible disease.
Sam’s career in the log home industry began in 1974, when he built his first home, a modest, brick A-frame, that was the catalyst for Satterwhite Log Homes. Two years later Sam married Travonda, the love of his life, and his right-hand in their entrepreneurial ventures. From these humble beginnings, Satterwhite Log Homes became the nation’s leading log home company.
Sam was a loving son, devoted husband, amazing father, legendary Papa, brother, uncle, cousin, father-in-law, and friend. He loved God, his family, his country and his community with a fierceness. If you knew Sam, you were a better person for it.
Sam lived his life by the Scripture, “to whom much is given, much will be required”. He believed he had an obligation, in good times and bad, to give whatever was needed. From assisting with the construction of a church in Mississippi, to aiding hurricane victims, to raising funds for the philanthropies he held near to his heart, it will never be known how many lives he impacted.
His legacy is carried on by Travonda, who now serves as the President of Satterwhite Log Homes. The Satterwhites’ three children, Christi, Nick, and Lindsey, and son-in-law, Alan, all serve in various roles at the company, and Sam’s pride and joy – his seven grandchildren – can often be found at the Texas office as well.
His absence on Earth is vast for those who knew him. His legacy lives on in countless memories, stories, and the hearts of so many.