|Joined: ||Sun Aug 26th, 2012|
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|Andy, I talked to Jack (Altinger) Allen's widow, Beverly, on the phone about 10 years ago. As Kriss said, he debuted in 1949 and died in San Diego in 1966, from complications of asthma. Allen was a severe asthmatic his whole life. He was told by doctors that the only place he would get relief from the symptoms would be if he was in the middle of the ocean away from everything. I asked Beverly how he was able to wrestle and she said he never had a problem in the ring because of the Adrenalin rush he would get before and during a match. His uncle, Fred Von Schacht, was like a father to Allen and sometimes picked up and dropped off his nephew at school. I asked her if Jack, considering that his uncle Fred (Frank Altinger; he did legally change his name to Frederich Von Schacht) was such a big villain, ever think about becoming a villain himself. She said no, because he was too handsome. She said that because of his looks, the promoters didn't want the female fans to know Jack was married. She said some of the promoters wouldn't allow her into the building and she thought that "was rotten."
Jack Allen also wrestled as "Mel Dove" for a while around '53 and '54. Beverly said she did not know how that name came to be or why. She did say that Jack was a very mellow person, so I guess the name fit.
The reason he originally changed his ring name to "Allen" was because ring announcers would often mispronounce "Altinger" as "Al-dinger" and he didn't like that. He also worked with fellow Milwaukeean Jack Wilson for the Milwaukee Journal (or maybe Sentinel) distribution center for a while in the early '60s and they were friends.
Beverly Altinger also mentioned that while in Arizona (They went to that territory hoping the weather would help with Jack's asthma), he had a terrible attack while in the car and they had to rush him to the emergency room.