He is a very old man with a very big heart and a very strong sense of right and wrong.
Esmond Allcock recently celebrated his 108th birthday with a giant party and good deal of fuss. Journalists came. Photographers snapped like mad. Asked the secret to a long life, Allcock replied, “I got a really good wife.”
His beloved, Helen, died seven years ago. Though she was seven years younger than her husband, her mind circled ever downward into the drain of dementia, but he cared for her for two years until he just wasn’t able to anymore and moved her to a senior citizen’s home.
“He just thought she was everything,” grandson Vince Lehne told InsideEdition.com Monday night. “When grandma died, he put on her tombstone, ‘She Was a 10.”’
Esmond and Helen Allcock and their six children.Vince Lehne
Allcock lived alone for awhile after his wife passed. At age 100, he had bought a brand new car, “a little Ford,” Lehne said. He used it to tool around his Kerrobert neighborhood in Saskatchewan, but never got on the highway, his grandson said.
He began to have difficulty walking, and eventually ended up in a wheelchair. At age 101, he went to live at the Kerrobert Heath Centre, where they doted on him for his birthday and announced it on their Facebook page.
When Lehne visited him that day, “He told us, ‘I’m really great from the waist up,'” Lehne said.
His grandpa is still sharp, Lehne says. “He likes to read. He loves the Toronto Blue Jays. He watches the news.” He also has a Facebook page and uses his iPad to talk daily to his son, Dale.
Allcock was a farmer until he retired in his 60s. He grew wheat and canola and was known for miles around for his strong work ethic and equally strong values.
Perhaps 70 or so years ago, his grandson said, Allcock need a farm truck, but he didn’t have any money. “He went to the dealership and said ‘I really can’t pay you for this right now,’ and they said, ‘That’s OK, we know you will.'”
And they told him to pick out whatever vehicle he wanted. “When the crop came in, he came back and paid for it,” Lehne said.
“The most important thing to him was being on time. Being honest. He had really, really good values,” his grandson said.
Even before he lost the love of his life, Allcock knew hard times. He and Helen lost a 25-year-old son to cancer. They lost another boy when he died in a plane crash at age 53. He and Helen had six children in all. There are now 12 great-great grand kids. Lehne is not sure of the other numbers of descendants. There’s just too many.
“We’re a big, huge, close family, but I don’t know how many grand kids,” he said. “From grandpa down, it’s 71 people.”
Allcock met his Helen at a small, local dance. “When he seen her, he told his friend that he was going to marry that woman,” Lehne said.
And so he did, when he was 29 and she was 22. They stayed married for 72 years.
There are more than a few single women living in Allcock’s assisted living facility. But he’s not really interested. He’s pretty much a one-woman man.
“I think he’s still pretty partial to grandma,” Lehne said.