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Former regional daily deputy editor dies aged 88

A former deputy editor at a regional daily whose career in journalism lasted nearly 50 years has died at the age of 88.

Don Wilkinson started out as a trainee reporter at York’s Evening Press, now The Press, in 1939 before a break for war service.

After serving in the Royal Navy, he returned to journalism as a sub-editor on sister weekly the Yorkshire Herald, a forerunner to the Gazette and Herald.

He became chief sub-editor at the weekly before returning to the Evening Press and working his way up to become deputy editor, a position he held until his retirement in 1988.

Don, who also spent time as a parish councillor for his village of Westow, died last month after a short illness.

Garry Atkinson, a photographer at The Press since 1974, was interviewed for his job by Don and paid tribute to the popular “uncle figure”.

He said: “He was an extremely friendly man – firm but fair. He was genuinely admired by all the staff, which isn’t an easy thing to achieve when you are a man in authority.

“He was always referred to as an avuncular figure.”

Don married his late wife, Kate, in 1948 and the couple had two children, Anne and Christopher, but their son was killed in a road accident at the age of 17.

Anne said: “His garden was his main love. Even when he lost his eyesight he still kept going. He also had two grandsons of whom he was very proud.

“He died at home on 20 September after being ill for a short while.”

Don’s funeral was due to take place on Tuesday (2 Oct) in Westow.

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  • October 3, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Like Garry, Don interviewed me for my break into journalism, although Richard Wooldridge provided the “good cop, bad cop” stint. Two giant figures for me who both have died this year. Don always had a little smirk on his face when telling you off – such as one hour in the pub at lunch was easily enough, but three hours was taking the mickey.
    Time to trot out the cliche: He was a true gentleman

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