Jack Dando Dies Aged 91 2009: Father Jack

Jack Dando dies aged 91

FATHER and friend Jack Dando died yesterday (Wed) on his 91st birthday.
Known to most as the father of Jill and Nigel Dando, Jack died in his sleep at Jasmine Court Nursing Home in Park Place, Weston. Nigel described him as ‘an archetypal gentle man who saw the good in everybody’. The 56-year-old said: “He was just a great chap who was nice to have as a father and a friend. He was a typical family man.” Jack was born in South Somerset in the Yeovil area and came to Weston where his dad had a job as a policeman and he started work at the Weston Mercury. Jack spent most of his working life at the Mercury heading up the composing room. He joined the company in the late 1940s after the war and stayed until he retired in the 1980s, when he was in his late 60s. Nigel, who is chief reporter at Radio Bristol, said: “He loved his time at the Mercury, it was a real family affair back then as it was run by the Frampton brothers and for a time both Jill and I worked there with him as reporters. “It was a job for life back then if you wanted to stay.” Jack lived in Worle for many years in Cornwallis Avenue and became a regular at Worle Community Association as well as an avid supporter of Weston Hospicecare. He also joined the Worle branch of the Royal British Legion and would regularly be seen selling poppies. Tragedy hit the Dando family in 1999 when Jill was shot and died aged 37. But as a keen gardener, one of the highlights of Jack’s retired life was when Ground Force created a memorial garden for Jill in Grove Park. Nigel, who lives in Portishead with his wife Vanessa, said: “Keeping it all secret from him was quite a challenge but it was worth it. It was a magical moment when he got out of the car and realised he was talking to Alan Titchmarch and saw the garden. “We would talk about that time quite a lot. He suffered from glaucoma and it got increasingly difficult to take him to see the garden as he got older. But he just loved to hear people tell him how lovely it was looking.” Jack met several celebrities because of Jill, including Cliff Richard who came to Weston for a charity event in her memory. “He was never star struck but appreciated that people who had become friends with Jill became friends with the whole family,” said Nigel. Jack had been a widower for 23 years after his wife, Jean, died in 1986 of leukaemia and he had a younger brother, Ken, who died two years ago. For details about the funeral please contact Elms Funeral Directors in Baker Street, Weston.

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