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Indiana town honors longtime gravedigger who lifts people up

If there was ever an election for the kindest American, the people of Galveston, Indiana know who they would nominate.

Allen McCloskey, the town’s 89-year-old gravedigger, was “out to help everyone” and “a special guy”, according to his neighbours.

Who is this great humanitarian? It turns out that the man who lifted the people of Galveston up is the same man who brought them down.

McCloskey is the town gravedigger, and has been at his job since 1952. He buried many residents, including his wife Barbara.

“I thought he would want me to do it,” said McCloskey, a father of three.


Alan McCloskey.

Steve Hartman / On the Road

He also does a lot of odd jobs around town, and treats everyone like family — which may explain why a good portion of the town recently gathered for a surprise party in McCloskey’s honor.

At the party, he was honored with an official Guinness World Record for longest career as a gravedigger. The townspeople honored him for thousands of odd jobs and the way he made life easier for the people of Galveston, all without paying a single penny.

“We’d ask Allen for a bill, and he wouldn’t give us one,” said one resident.

“You’ll never hear about it again,” added another.

When asked why he refused to accept the money, McCloskey simply laughed.

“Allen understands what life is all about,” said one resident of the town. “It’s not the money that makes him happy. I really believe that Allen has figured out where enough is. He’s found ‘enough’.”

And the odd thing about finding enough? Sometimes, like McCloskey, you end up with more.

To contact On The Road or send us a story idea, email us: OnTheRoad@cbsnews.com.

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Steve Hartman

Steve Hartman

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