106 and still counting for East Anglia’s ‘oldest man’ Donald Needham from Sudbury

Donald Needham celebrates his 106th birthday at William Wood House in Sudbury with his daughter, Joy

Donald Needham celebrates his 106th birthday at William Wood House in Sudbury with his daughter, Joy Lloyd Hughes. - Credit: Archant

Excellent care and genetics has seen Donald Needham, believed to be East Anglia’s oldest man, live to the age of 106.

Donald Needham celebrates his 106th birthday at William Wood House in Sudbury.

Donald Needham celebrates his 106th birthday at William Wood House in Sudbury. - Credit: Archant

The former accountant - originally from Sheffield but now living in Sudbury - whose twin sister and mother both lived to nearly 100, moved to Lavenham aged 93 to be closer to his family.

On Saturday he celebrated his birthday, and still claims he “doesn’t feel old at all”, and has no major health problems.

Daughter Joy Lloyd Hughes, 67, who lives in Preston-St-Mary, near Lavenham, said: “He is a twin and his sister Joan lived to nearly 100.

“His mother lived to a great age, I think it must be genetic, we never really thought he would live that long.


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“The years just tick by. I do ask him ‘do you feel old?’ and he says he doesn’t feel old at all.

“He doesn’t have any major health problems, he had a couple of minor strokes before he moved to very sheltered housing, but that was it.

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“He did smoke a pipe a little, only very occasionally, and only drinks sociably.” Yorkshire County Cricket fan Donald, who lives at William Wood House, in Sudbury, was a passionate gardener, creating “beautiful roses” and landscaping gardens from scratch.

Joy continued: “He is very well cared for at William Wood House, it is not a care home it is very sheltered housing, but the care is excellent. That is part of the reason he has lived so long, they look after him very well.

“He is spoilt - me and my daughter are there a lot of the time. The staff have been very good to him. I have asked if he needs to be in a care home and they say no, they don’t want him to go anywhere else.” Donald’s wife died in 1991 after they had retired to Devon. He and his wife were passionate golf players in retirement and often played on the Lyme Regis golf course.

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