A MAN who helped generations of Wearsiders learn life-changing skills has retired at the age of 87.
Frederick Baron, from Barnes, devoted his professional life to helping the deaf and blind communicate through teaching, with 43 years also spent working with a lip-reading group at Fulwell CA.
After leaving Ryhope Grammar and gaining degrees at Durham and York universities, he spent six years in the Army as a warrant officer before taking his first teaching job at Wingate County Senior Boys.
When Durham County Council refused to fund extra qualifications and put a halt to his aims of teaching deaf children, he moved near Aylesbury and worked at a boarding school run by the Royal London Society for the Blind.
On his return to the North East, his jobs included a post at Barbara Priestman School in Sunderland, where he worked in its deaf unit and was also asked to establish another for deaf children at Broadway Junior School, in Grindon.
His wife Margaret, 83, said: “He always liked to get people to talk again, which was possible, and felt it was a brilliant job to do.”
Frederick, who was inspired to help others as his uncle Charlie Young was deaf, also worked across County Durham, teaching both blind and deaf youngsters, then became a senior worker for the deaf in South Tyneside, retiring in 1988.
But that did not halt his teaching work, as he continued giving lip reading classes to adults across Sunderland, Peterlee and Houghton. In 2006, Frederick, who is father to Penny, 49, and Simon, 51, collected a Pride of Wearside award for his efforts.
His friends and fellow members of the Fulwell club honoured his years of service with an afternoon tea at the Old Vestry Tearoom, in Fawcett Street, and a Christmas dinner at D’Aqua.