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Former westcountry editor dies,aged 72

A former Tiverton Gazette and Exeter Express & Echo journalist, who became editor of the North Devon Journal, has died in Spain aged 72, following a stroke.

Alan Butt joined the Gazette as a trainee journalist at the age of 16 in 1948, straight from school.

Following National Service as a lieutenant in the Army, he returned to the Gazette, where he became the chief reporter in 1967, a position that he made his own until 1978, when he became the news editor on the Express & Echo and subsequently took on the role of editor of the North Devon Journal.

His final post before taking early retirement in 1991 was editor of the Exeter Leader.

Alan, (pictured right), moved to Spain soon after retiring with his wife, Marian, and settled in the area of Nerja on the Costa del Sol, where they spent 16 years surrounded by a large group of friends.

He was cremated after a memorial service at Velez Malaga, where mourners gathered to pay their respects to a man who was universally admired.

His younger son, Gregory, and great friend James Moorhead each gave a eulogy where tribute was paid to a father, friend and “larger-than-life” character who loved and lived life to the full, was tremendous company and full of fun.

Marian, his wife of 54 years, and their three children, Nicholas, Caroline and Gregory survive him.