John Stean

Also known as: Jack.

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Jack (John George) Stean was born in 1925 in the East End of London, the eldest son of a tailor. Jack left school in 1941 aged 16, and spent about 18 months in the architect’s department of London County Council before joining the Royal Air Force at the age of 18.

He was posted to 355 Squadron, South East Asia Command (SEAC), where he flew as a navigator in Liberator bombers from Salbani and took part in the liberation of Burma towards the end of the war.

He stayed in the RAF for four years until 1947 when he returned London and married Kath. He worked at the London County Council for a further 6 years, during which he qualified, in 1925, as a Chartered Surveyor.

In 1957 he secured a job as a Building Surveyor with the Hong Kong Government. His job often included assignments such as inspecting and condemning dangerous buildings, and he gained widespread respect amongst colleagues and friends for his fair-mindedness, hard work and general unassuming nature. Jack retired as until Deputy Director of the Public Works Department, after serving 23 years in the Department. A modest man, he rarely made mention that he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1980.

Upon his retirement family returned to England soon moved to Narborough in Norfolk, where he was able to spend some of his time playing golf at Swaffham Golf Club. Jack's other hobbies included supporting Arsenal Football Club, driving his classic Crayford Cortina Mk2 convertible, and he was well known in the area as a surrogate father to a succession of Bernese Mountain dogs.

He found and became re-acquainted with his some of his former Squadron colleagues, and attended many of the social functions they arranged.

A long time sufferer from diabetes, Jack succumbed to a chest infection and died at Sandringham Hospital, with his family around him, on 1 Dec 08. He is survived by his wife Kath; children John, Lindy, Jennifer and Samantha; Grandchildren Coryn, Daniel, Victoria, Katie, Charlie and Megan; and great-grandson Christopher, who all miss this wonderful gentle man.

Added by: Lindy Lovegrove on 4th May 2009.


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Picture of John Stean.
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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
67 Portland Place, London W1B 1AR
0800 169 2942
Registered Charity No. 1081009