A WELL-known member of the Trowbridge business and charitable community for some 20 years has died in Torquay Hospital from the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Derek Denton was formerly the owner of and pharmacist at Roundstone Pharmacy, in Roundstone Street, Trowbridge, from the mid-1970s to late 1980s.

He died on Saturday, March 28 at Torbay Hospital, Torquay, aged 88, having contracted the coronavirus and developed associated pneumonia.

His son, Simon Denton, said: “My father had developed what he thought was a cold and had started to isolate himself from around March 12, well before government advice to do so. Regrettably, however, he had already contracted the virus that would eventually kill him.

“My wife Zoe went to check on him the weekend before he passed away, to find him having deteriorated rapidly with fever and severe breathlessness, calling both 111 and 999 twice over that weekend before he was ultimately admitted.””Left to care for him on her own, feeling both scared and desperately helpless, but wanting to look after her nearest and dearest, she subsequently contracted the virus, but is hopefully pulling thorough from the worst and is continuing to self-isolate from her family at my father’s house.”

Derek lived with his wife Beryl and family at Ham Green, Holt, for some 35 years, being an integral part of village and community life.

He was an active member of Trowbridge life, a member of Round Table of Great Britain and Ireland, its 41 Club, and Rotary Club, chairing many of these over the years. He was also a trustee of the Pioneer Benefit Society and Holt Bowls Club. Mr Denton had a sense of duty to the community, like many of those who grew up in the war years. He had a passion to deliver service above and beyond the norm, providing out-of-hours services, and delivering prescriptions for free to individuals and nursing homes from the Avon/Somerset border to the Vale of Pewsey, picking up many loyal clients and friends along the way.Derek and Beryl moved to Devon, to be near to their grand-daughters, leaving behind their many friends in Wiltshire.

The move followed the tragic death of their daughter Anne and son-in-law Neale Jones in a motorcycle accident in France in 2005, when a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction crossed the carriageway into their path.

Derek suffered further heartbreak in 2011 when Beryl died, having been ill with dementia for some time, and then again on Boxing Day last year when his partner Margaret similarly died from dementia. Despite great sadness in later life, Derek loved to be in the company of others, and had an active social life right until the time of his death, still frequenting various clubs, hotels, pubs, with his many friends in Torquay.

Mr Denton was cremated at Torbay Crematorium on Thursday, April 9, behind closed doors, in view of the pandemic. The family will hold a memorial service to celebrate Derek’s when it is safe to do so.

He is survived by Simon, three brothers, and one sister, being the oldest of five; his younger brother Lawrence died last year. He had four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.