Tributes to a charming and educated lollipop man - Dr Bruce Berry

Dr Bruce Berry
Dr Bruce Berry
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Tributes have been paid to a lollipop man who had 11 university degrees and spoke five languages fluently.

Dr Bruce Berry, who stopped traffic outside Crofton Infant School for four years, died on Saturday at the age of 73 after suffering with cancer.

The retired Post Office worker used to cycle to work every day from his home in Fearnside, Sharlston.

Dr Berry also served on Sharlston Parish Council for four years.

Coun Alexandra Devey said: “Bruce was so charming. He was like someone out of a 19th century novel.

“He was kind, caring and very well liked in Sharlston. Everyone in the village knew him.”

Dr Berry spoke fluent English, French, German, Russian and Japanese and studied his qualifications at home via the internet.

He gained masters degrees from universities in Germany and France.

Coun Devey added: “He was a single man with no family and I think he studied to keep his brain occupied.

“He was very humble about his degrees though. He did them for his own enjoyment, not for any recognition from anyone.”

Staff and teachers at the school, on High Street, looked into whether his academic qualifications, which also included degrees in philosophy, were a world record but were told the Guinness book doesn’t recognise the feat.

To mark his 70th birthday the school ordered him a copy of the Daily Mirror from the day he was born in December 1941.

He also received a certificate of authenticity for the newspaper during an assembly at the school.

Coun Devey added: “The kids at the school absolutely adored Bruce.

“He was so knowledgeable and used to share it with them as they made their way to and from school.

“He would always say good morning all and share a joke with some of them.”

Dr Berry was co-opted onto Sharlston Parish Council in June 2009.

He was also a life-long attendee of St Luke’s Church in the village.

Coun Devey said: “He was born and bred in Sharlston and was very passionate about the village.

“He will be very sadly missed by a lot of people in the area.”

Dr Berry died at St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds after being diagnosed with cancer last year.

His funeral will be at St Luke’s Church, on Weeland Road. The date and time are yet to be confirmed.