Jack Fisher, who defied all odds to survive at birth, carried on driving until two months before his death in March at the age of 88.
Born prematurely in Hotham in the East Riding in 1933, weighing only as much as a bag of sugar, he was so small he had to be fed with a fountain pen and was never expected to live.
He was a “grafter”, his son Steve Fisher has said, who went on to build his own successful haulage business and refused to retire even as his health faded earlier this year.
“He was driving right to the end,” said Mr Fisher, 48. “It’s what kept him going. He loved it that much I don’t think he ever wanted to retire.”
The elder Mr Fisher, inset, was a grandfather of six, aged between 26 and 12, and leaves a wife of 53-years, Jean, and two daughters Catherine and Gillian in addition to Steve.
A self-taught pianist and accordion player, he played the church organ at St Oswald’s Church in Hotham where he was church warden for many years.
He was born at Sandhill Farm weighing just 1.75lbs, and wasn’t expected to survive. His determined mother, wielding the fountain pen, is said to have revived him on a diet of cinder tea.
Mr Fisher’s first job was as a gardener at Hotham Hall, before he went on to driving a lime spreader then a lorry for Geoff Levitt at Newbald.
Eventually he bought his own lorry, then five, delivering sand and gravel with his brother and expanding into sugar beet, corn and coal. All three of his children hold HGV licences, with the family business GL and EJ Fisher Ltd having now run for 50 years.
Long believing he was the oldest HGV driver in the UK, his children had joked with him about applying to the Guinness Book of World Records and, after his death, they submitted the paperwork and proof of his licenses. He is now to feature in the upcoming 2022 edition.
“He was so friendly, cheerful, he would talk to anyone,” said Mr Fisher. “A real lovable character. We are so very proud of him.”
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