BRIGHTON — A Brighton resident is getting ready to celebrate a very important milestone in his life. Leland “Jack” Lockett turns 100 years old Thursday and will be celebrating with family and friends.
Despite his age, Lockett manages to stay active. He still lives at his home, drives and manages to swing by Eagle View Adult Center three times a week to play pool with his buddies.
“I think what is so amazing about Jack is that he has stayed active his entire life. I think part of the key to his longevity is because of all of the interests that he’s had,” EVAC Director Sue Corbett said, adding that Jack has done leatherwork, wood working and that he likes to play bridge and pool.
Gayle Martinez, administrative assistant at EVAC, said Lockett is the oldest active member at Eagle View Adult Center and that she hopes to be like him — young at heart — at that age.
“That’s what keeps him going. He’s young at heart, he doesn’t think of his age. He enjoys life,” she said.
Lockett was born in Fruita, on Dec. 19, 1913. He graduated valedictorian of Fruita Union High School in 1930. He served in the National Guard from 1930 to 1936 and married the late Inez Lockett in 1937.
He worked for the former Mountain Bell telephone company (now Century Link) and moved to Brighton in 1956 and lives in that very same home today. In 1977, he retired from the telephone company where he worked for more than 40 years.
Lockett was married to Inez for 75 years, who passed away a month after their anniversary in 2012. He has a daughter, Corinne Ocker, and a son, the late Thomas Lockett, and seven grandchildren.
Ocker attributes her father’s longevity to good genes and she’s happy about his accomplishment. She said he has a really terrific sense of humor, a distinctive loud laugh and lives each day for each day.
“Everything about him is extraordinary…,” she said. “I think he has a good outlook on life, even through adversity.”
His granddaughter, Tommie LaVoie, is also happy her grandfather is celebrating his 100th birthday.
“He is an incredible man who amazes me each and every day,” she said. “He still lives on his own and is smarter than anyone I know.”
On Dec. 17, council approved a proclamation to recognize Jack’s 100th birthday. The proclamation recognizes that fewer than 1 percent of Americans reach the century mark in age and proclaims Dec. 19, 2013, Leland “Jack” Lockett Day.