Derby

Reg Dean funeral: Hundreds honour Britain's oldest man

  • 23 January 2013
  • From the section Derby

Hundreds of people have turned out to celebrate the life of Britain's oldest man at his funeral.

Reg Dean died at his home in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, at the age of 110 years and 63 days.

Members of the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir, which Mr Dean established 25 years ago, sang some of his favourite songs at the service.

Giving a tribute at St Mary's Church in Wirksworth, Christopher Dean said his father was remarkable.

"Remarkable for his life - 110 and 63 days, the 63 days are very important - and remarkable for what he achieved," said Mr Dean.

"He did a great deal for many people.

Image caption Extra seats were laid out as about 300 people came to the service

"He was a man with a great sense of humour."

Mr Dean described how his father received his 10th telegram on his last birthday and said, to a laugh from the congregation, his response was: "They know I'm dying but they think I'm taking too long about it."

Andy Pollock, a former mayor of Wirksworth, said it was impossible not to know Mr Dean in the community.

"He was such a big character that everybody knew Reg," said Mr Pollock.

"He was at ease talking to young people as well as talking to more senior citizens, although I'm sure he never saw himself as a senior citizen to be quite honest."

The funeral was led jointly by Canon David Truby, from St Mary's, and the Rev Camilla Veitch from the United Reformed Church.

Mr Dean, who was born in Tunstall, Staffordshire, on 4 November 1902, was a member of both congregations.

After working as a minister and a teacher, he later took up painting and set up the Dalesmen when he was 85.

The choir's chairman, John England, said: "He remains an inspiration to many members."

Mr Dean married three times and had one son and three grandchildren.

He was originally ordained an Anglican vicar and then a United Reformed Church minister.

Canon Truby said: "He was a man of great faith and strength of character who was an inspiration to those around him."

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