Britain has bid farewell to not only its oldest man, but also one of its biggest characters after Wirksworth resident Reg Dean passed away aged 110.
It’s his sense of humour rather than his grand old age that most people will remember about the former minister of the United Reformed churches in Matlock and Wirksworth.
He passed away at his home in Waltham House on Saturday, January 5.
His son, Chris Dean, said: “Right until the last day he was talking and joking with people.
“He did have a great sense of humour, it is nice to remember him that way and nice that he was able to keep that way.
“He made the most of his life.”
Reg was a member of the Dalesman Male Voice Choir and had a livelong love of music, which he passed onto his son, who leads the Syd Lawrence Orchestra.
John Parker, concert secretary for choir, said: “He was genuinely so well liked, nobody seemed to have anything untoward to say about him.
“He was just such a positive person. He was frail, but at 110, he was entitled to be and saying that, he still had this wonderful twinkle in his eye – it was always there. He was a lovely, lovely man and was everybody’s friend.”
Reg was born in Staffordshire in 1902 and had lived all around the world.
It was while he was living in Bombay that he was given a mysterious brown drink by a doctor who told him ‘drink this you will live forever’.
He loved animals and was a vegetarian, but one of his proudest achievements was the work he did in making Wirksworth a Fairtrade town. His funeral will be held in St Mary’s Church, Wirksworth, on a date yet to be confirmed.