A Bradford man, believed to be one half of the longest married couple in the world, has sadly passed away after 90 years of marriage.
Karam Chand died from natural causes in hospital earlier this month, just six weeks shy of his 111th birthday.
He leaves behind his 103-year-old wife, Katari, eight children and 27 grandchildren.
Paul Chand, one of the couple’s sons, paid tribute to his father, saying he ‘lived life the way it was meant to be lived’ right up into his 100s.
“He was a gentleman, he brought up a family very well and I never saw him argue with any of the children or mum,” he said.
“He wasn’t only a father, he was a best friend. He never got upset about anything and was a very peaceful man. He was respected by so many people. This is a great loss for the whole of the family.”
Karam was born in a small rural village in the Punjab, northern India, in 1905, going on to marry his wife in an arranged Sikh ceremony at the age of 20.
The couple travelled to Bradford in 1965 as Mr Chand began working in the local wool mills before the pair retired in Girlington in the city.
In recent times, the longevity of their marriage has made national and international headlines, yet the 90 years and 291 days total was never officially recognised by Guinness.
The couple’s youngest son, Paul, says the secret to the success of marriage was down to ‘giving love a chance’ and the care of a good family.
“As I have said many times, marriage is not a mechanism,” he said. “You see people getting married today and then they are divorced so soon, they do not give it a chance.
“Ninety years is a long time. With marriage you find someone you love, someone you can trust and someone you can talk to.
“Because they were always so happy together, the children were happy too. My wife, Rani, and sister, Kash, have helped me cared for them for the past 10 years.”
Family from around the world are expected to travel to Bradford for Karam’s funeral.
Fact file: During Karam’s long life, he witnessed some of the biggest changes in history:
- 25 different British Prime Ministers have been sworn in
- 17 different US Presidents have called the White House home
- The first nonstop Trans-Atlantic flight was completed
- Two World Wars have started and finished
- India and Pakistan gained independence
- The first man landed in space
- When Karam was born, the average life expectancy was just 47, the tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower and the US flag had just 45 stars