Everyone can paint. But not everyone is a painter, Arthur Alcock would often say.
“In other words, anyone can pick up a paint brush and paint something, but not everybody could do it well,” said his daughter, Susan J. Braun of Acushnet.
Alcock worked for more than 40 years as a painter for J.C. Rhodes in New Bedford before retiring. He continued to paint on his own for many years after. He painted homes for his daughter and granddaughter.
“He was an excellent, proud and meticulous painter,” Braun said.
Alcock, who lived most of his life in New Bedford, died from COVID-19 complications on June 4, 2020, at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was 96.
“He lived a long, happy life,” Braun said.
Alcock was born in New Bedford and grew up in the South End peninsula. As a child, he attended Roosevelt Junior High School, where he met a young girl named Marjorie Falcon, his future wife.
“They just loved each other,” Braun said. “They loved life. They enjoyed everything.”
Before marrying Marjorie in 1944, Alcock served with distinction in the United States Navy during World War II. As a third-class petty officer, Alcock served as a signalman in the United States Naval Armed Guard, which protected merchant ships at sea.
He would only occasionally talk about his naval wartime service, “like most World War II veterans,” said Braun, who was born a year after her parents got married. She would be their only child.
Growing up, Braun remembers her father being a diehard Boston Red Sox fan whose all-time favorite player was Ted Williams, the Hall of Famer and fellow World War II veteran who patrolled left field at Fenway Park from 1939 to 1960.
“I can remember as a child he always talked about Ted Williams. He had Ted Williams T-shirts and everything,” said Braun, who added that her father enjoyed watching Red Sox games on television and listening to baseball on his small handheld radio. He was “absolutely” thrilled when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 after an 86-year championship drought.
A VIRTUAL MEMORIAL
As the city emerges from the long siege of COVID-19, we pause to take stock of what – and whom – we’ve lost. Please help build this community memorial by adding a tribute to your loved one.
In their later years, Arthur and Marjorie Alcock spent two months every year vacationing in Fort Myers, Florida. There they befriended people from all over the country and outside the United States with whom they corresponded for many years after.
“They were a great couple. They were wonderful parents and wonderful grandparents,” said Braun, who recalled that her father was “totally broken hearted” when Marjorie died in 2016. He arranged for their gravestone to read, “Together Forever.”
More recently, Alcock enjoyed spending time with Braun and his granddaughter, Kristen Lee Flynn of Acushnet. He was a member of the Acushnet Road Race Committee and worked for his son-in-law’s business, JB Race. He also dabbled in carpentry and spent time in his workshop making wooden crafts for family and friends.
“He was very talented,” Braun said.
Alcock had recently struggled with his balance and spent the last year of his life at CareOne of New Bedford. He contracted COVID-19 in late May 2020. He was admitted to the hospital and died a week later.
“It’s very difficult because we weren’t able to see him,” Braun said. “We did a video phone conference with him, but Dad probably didn’t know we were talking to him at the time.”
Don’t miss a story.
Our free newsletter will drop into your inbox weekday mornings, giving you all the highlights of our in-depth news stories and community arts and culture coverage.
SUPPORT OUR WORK TODAY. MAKE A MATCH!
As a nonprofit, nonpartisan community news outlet we are dependent on the generosity of our supporters. We are thrilled to announce that an anonymous donor has generously offered to match up to $100,000 in community contributions. Find out how you can double, triple and even quadruple your gift.