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Dexter Kruger (centre), with L to R, Gregory (son) & Daryl Kruger (grandson). Picture: Katrina Ayers

Australia’s oldest man ever dies in Roma aged care facility after brief illness

Australia’s oldest man Dexter Kruger has passed away at the age of 111 and 188 days old.

The author, former grazier and veterinary surgeon was born in Kilcoy in 1910, and celebrated the milestone of becoming Australia’s oldest man just two months ago.

The super-centenarian passed away “peacefully” on Tuesday the 21st of July in his aged care facility in Roma in southwest Queensland.

CEO Melanie Calvert said she would miss Mr Kruger, having spent “many years chatting to him and sharing stories”.

“With his age, however, it was to be expected and he died very peacefully”.

Mr Kruger became the oldest living man in Australian history on May 17, when, at 111 years and 124 days old, he overtook World War 1 veteran Jack Lockett.

Mr Kruger has always said the secret to longevity was a positive outlook on life, a sense of humour and to “eat good food”.

Earlier this year, he told ABC a weekly meal of chicken brains had kept him going.

He has also previously said “eating half a dozen prawns” every day kept him alive for so long.

Mr Kruger was born on January 13, 1910, and was alive when the Titanic sank, lived through the Spanish Flu pandemic, both World Wars, witnessed major technological advancements and experienced numerous other significant world events.

He was born in Nundah in Brisbane, and grew up on the family farm in Kilcoy, before moving to Linville and then Nanango.

He then moved further west to Roma, where he continued to work on the land.

He worked well into his 90s, and began writing books at 86, following the death of his wife, Gladys, who he married in 1942.

Mr Kruger’s life has been documented in a series of books written with the help of his long-time friend and secretary Janet Rowlings.

The 12 books, made up of more than 300 stores, were bought by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in 2019 and placed in the State Library of Queensland. The memoirs document a century of change.

At the celebration of his milestone earlier this year, Mr Kruger’s son Greg told the local paper that he was “so proud” of his father.

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