By : Cecily Markland
The Allens’ descendants now extend to the fourth generation of Arizonans, with most of their 7 children, 24 grandchildren and 52 great grandchildren still in the state.
Roy was born and raised in Mesa, while Nada is from the town of Central near Safford, Ariz. The couple was sealed in the Mesa Arizona Temple in 1943. Shortly after their marriage, Roy shipped out to serve in the United States Navy during World War II. That was the first, and the last time, in their 70 years together that Roy and Nada have been apart.
According to their youngest daughter, Donna Ashcroft, it was a “houseful” and their parents were busy raising the seven children: Rick (Sylvia), Louise Woods (Van), Kenneth (Carla), Marvin (Jeannie), Marilyn Durand (David), Marla Helquist (Clyde) and Donna Ashcroft (Robb).
Even with a big family of their own, they welcomed extended family and friends to their home.
“We always had a lot of family gatherings with extended family and even church socials held in our home,” Donna says.
“Their doors were always open,” she adds. “Several people came to live with us for a short time if they needed a place to go or needed someone to care about them.”
Brother and Sister Allen have held many church callings, including years of faithful service as temple patrons and as ordinance workers.
“We were raised in the light of the gospel. They were faithful church attendees, and they have an unwavering testimony of the gospel which has greatly influenced all three generations of their family,” Donna says.
She says her parents were industrious, hard-working people.
“They would serve anyone. They go out of their way to serve, especially their children,” Donna says.
The Allens, looking back over their seven decades together, have advice for other couples.
“Be faithful in your church and temple attendance,” they say. “Try to follow the Savior’s example.”
Sister Allen suggests that couples should choose to find happiness in their lives together.
“Count your blessings and be thankful for the simple things,” she says.
Brother Allen prefaces his remarks by breaking into singing, “Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words to Each Other,” then says, “Be quick to forgive. Show love and kindness.”
They sum it up by saying, “Never think of things as ‘yours’ and ‘mine,’ always ‘ours.'”
Donna’s daughter, Ashley, says her grandparents put these recommendations into practice and have been a great example to their family and to others.
“My grandma is so loving and is always serving,” Ashley says, and adds, “When I think of grandpa I think of him as one of the most patient people I know.”
Family members kindly refer to him as “Grandpa-rella” because, Donna explains, “He is always helping mom with the housework, doing dishes, laundry, things like that.”
“I just want to help out Mom as much as I can,” Brother Allen says.