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Former editor dies aged 51 just weeks after wedding

Dean PowellA former editor has died aged 51 just weeks after getting married.

Tributes have been paid to Dean Powell, who spent five years in charge of the Pontypridd & Llantrisant Observer and also worked for the BBC during his journalism career.

More recently, Dean had been a press officer for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and managed the 14th century Llantrisant Guildhall, as well as working as a motivational speaker and conducting ghost walks.

He had married his partner Jonathan Wickett on 17 June in what was the first same-sex wedding service held in the Guildhall.

Posting on Twitter, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council leader Andrew Morgan wrote: “I am very sorry to hear that Dean Powell, who was a former press officer with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, has died.

“Dean was instrumental in the renovation of the Llantrisant Guildhall and was a big part of organising Llantrisant’s Beating of the Bounds. My condolences to his family and friends.”

Dean began his career as a reporter on the Merthyr Express in 1997, moving to become senior reporter at the Rhondda Leader the following year.

In 2000, he joined the Western Mail and took up the editorship of the Observer the following year.

After five years with the paper, he joined the BBC before moving into public relations with the council in 2007, spending eight years with the authority before taking up his role managing the Guildhall.

Away from work, Dean was a noted member of the Treorchy Male Choir.

In a statement, the choir said: “We at Treorchy Male Choir are so saddened to hear of the passing of life member, former choir archivist and publicity officer, Dean Powell.

“He worked tirelessly for the choir organising our music library, discography and designing the choir website. He also was the first to put us on the map regarding social media.

“Dean was meticulous with updating the choir engagements during his time and his knowledge of the history of the choir was unsurpassed.

“In addition to all of this however, Dean was a superb tenor. He was at his happiest when stood amongst his friends in the first tenor section singing the great male choir repertoire.”