By Lauren Grice
Britain’s oldest man has passed away at the age of 110 years and 63 days.
Reg Dean, a former church minister, died at his own home in Wirksworth, Derbyshire on Saturday. Born in Tunstall, Staffordshire in 1902, the OAP had survived two world wars, seen 24 UK Prime Ministers come and go and received seven telegrams from the Queen.
A close friend of Britain’s oldest man, John Neaum, told BBC News that he was a “multi-talented” character who painted and wrote short stories.
Going by the full name Thomas Reginald Dean, he was married three times, had one son and two grandchildren. His life, which surpassed a century, involved being ordained into the Church of England in the early 1920s and serving as an army chaplain in Burma between 1914 to 1918.
In 1958, he became a teacher at Herbert Strutt Primary School where he worked for 10 years, and he is acknowledged in the Derbyshire community for his vast amount of charity work. He founded the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir in the 1980s and completed a sponsored walk from Nottingham to Derby at 90 years-old.
Reg also set up a Fairtrade store in his downstairs lounge, which he called Traidcraft, before retiring at 80 years-old and to date, the shop continues to operate successfully.
Mr Dean became Britain’s oldest man in June 2010 after the current title holder, Stanley Lucas, died at 110-years-old. Last year, the pensioner attributed his longevity to a magic potion from India. He confessed that he was still smiling thanks to a mysterious ‘elixir of life’, given to him by a Bombay doctor.
Mr Neaum said: “He always looked for the best in people. He gave a lot of people a lot of deep joy.”
His son, Christopher Dean, told The Independent that his father was a “good man who worked to benefit others.” His father’s love of music has passed from one generation to the next, and now Chris leads the Syd Lawrence Orchestra.
Jiroemon Kimura from Japan is currently the world’s oldest living man and is 115 years of age.