Tributes have been paid to Wolverhampton’s oldest man, who passed away just a few weeks short of his 106th birthday.
Ira Parsonage, who was born on September 18, 1907, and had lived at Nelson Mandela House in Pendeford for the last six years, died peacefully in hospital on Tuesday, August 27.
His funeral will be held next Wednesday (September 18), which would have been his 106th birthday, at 12pm at Bushbury Crematorium. Kathleen Kane, Assistant Residential Care Manager at Nelson Mandela House, said: “Ira was much loved by everyone.
“He was hugely popular with staff, residents and visitors – and was still very mobile even at the grand old age of 105.
“He put his long and happy life down to keeping himself active and not allowing himself to get worried about anything. He was a happy-go-lucky gentleman.”
Though Mr Parsonage didn’t have children of his own, he acquired a whole new family tree through his marriage to Sarah Ann in 1947. She already had four children of her own and he went on to have 21 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, 51 great-great-grandchildren and eight great-great-great-grandchildren.
Black Country born-and-bred, Mr Parsonage lived in Coseley until his marriage.
He and Sarah Ann settled in Wolverhampton and were happily married until she sadly passed away in 1987.
Mr Parsonage worked at Black Country boilers-to-vehicle parts manufacturer John Thompson’s for more than 50 years.
After he retired he did casual work for a local builder before tending people’s gardens, up to the grand old age of 95.
Great-granddaughter Sally Clayton said: “My great-grandfather was a fantastic man. He used to do gardening for what he called the ‘old folk’ – even though he was actually older than most of them!”
To pay your tribute to Ira go to www.blackcountrybugle.co.uk