Born in the Jazz Age before the Great Depression and still enjoying life
Above, Elon Spink and his granddaughter, Tammy Charbonneau.
Written by Thomas Spink.
LE ROY -- Le Roy Village Green resident Elon Spink is Genesee County's newest centenarian!
Elon was born 100 years ago on June 19, 1921 in Attica to Ida and Harry Spink. He was the fourth of five children.
At an early age, he was diagnosed with polio, but thankfully he recovered, and he was able to get back his mobility and live a remarkably long life. Having had polio prevented him from enlisting to fight for his country in World War II, which disappointed him as he wanted to help defend his country from the Germans.
During his lifetime, Elon held many jobs. He transported farm equipment, construction materials, worked as an accountant for his brother Tom’s business and then started driving bus. He finished up his career delivering beer and beverages, retiring in 1983 at the age 62.
He moved to Rochester in the 1950s where he would meet and marry the love of his life -- Fern Elizabeth Sherman. Fern had three children, Patrick, Lucinda and Susan, who have known Elon as Dad for the past 60+ years. Elon and Fern had one child together, Thomas.
Elon and Fern were married for 51 years. Fern passed away in 2006, and Elon continued living ON HIS OWN until December, 2020. At the age of 99 and a half, in the middle of COVID-19, he had a fall and he and his family realized it was time that he needed assistance, which is when he moved to Le Roy Village Green.
Many of Elon’s most cherished memories are related to sports. Elon was a pretty good bowler. He won team championships in Rochester in the '50s and '60s. Elon is a diehard Rochester Redwings fan and through his son, Pat, (who worked in broadcasting for the Red Wings), he got to meet and befriend several players over the years.
In June of 2001, to celebrate his 80th birthday, he traveled to New York to watch the Yankees play on a Saturday and then rode down to Philadelphia to watch the Batavia Muckdogs parent team take on the New York Mets that following Sunday.
He is an avid Buffalo Bills fan, and one lifetime experience for Elon was going to the Buffalo Bills first Superbowl in Tampa in 1991. He had the opportunity to meet Bills' owner Ralph Wilson at a Bills game. Ralph asked him how old he was, and when Elon said he was 83, Ralph chuckled and said that he was 86. Later that year, Ralph signed a picture of the two of them saying, “You're still not as old as me.”
The Buffalo Bills are Elon’s favorite team by far. He jokingly comments all the time, “I don’t know if I will ever see them win the Big Game.” Well Elon, maybe Josh Allen will do what your favorite quarterback, Jim Kelly, tried so hard to do four times in a row – and you may get to see a Buffalo Bills’ Super Bowl victory this year as you work your way toward 101!
We all wish you the happiest 100th birthday!
Photos courtesy of Margaret Sheelar.
Below, Elon Spink and his son, Thomas Spink.