Britain's oldest man, 110, passes away
Published on 07 January 2013 11:30 AM
Britain's oldest man has passed away at the age of 110 years and 63 days, his friends have announced.
Reg Dean - Britain's oldest man since June 2010 following the death of 110-year-old Stanley Lucas - died on Saturday, the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir in Derbyshire confirmed.
Mr Dean, a father-of-one, was a founding member of the choir and was also its life president.
He was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire on November 4 1902, and he went on to live through two world wars and saw some 24 British prime ministers take office.
A former army chaplain and teacher, Mr Dean served in Burma in the Far East during World War II.
He only retired as a minister once he turned 80.
Mr Dean worked as a teacher at Herbert Strutt School in Belper, Derbyshire, for 10 years from 1958, having moved to the county in 1947 following a short time spent in Stratford-upon-Avon.
'An inspiration to us all'
For a number of years before his passing Mr Dean had been living at Waltham House, which is an extra care scheme for older people run by Housing 21.
Helen Hart, locality manager for Housing 21, expressed great sadness at the news of Mr Dean's death.
'He was an inspiration to us all and will be greatly missed,' she said.
When speaking last year about his personal life, Mr Dean said: 'My first wife was 10 years younger, my second was 20 [years younger], and my third was 30 [years] younger. It's an amazing statement, but true.'
Mr Dean's friend John Neaum, who announced the death, said his friend 'inspired a lot of love and affection' and always looked for the best in people.
Is laziness the secret to longevity?
As well as setting up The Dalesmen Male Voice Choir, he wrote short stories and took up painting at the age of 80.
Mr Neaum said he would particularly remember his friend for his wonderful use of language.
Mr Dean revealed in November the secret of his longevity was being lazy.
Speaking at a party for his 109th birthday he said: 'I'm a member of the august fellowship known as "lazy bones".'
Copyright Press Association 2013