Ron Easton climbed on to the roof of his home in Bigbury-on-sea in Devon late last month with a bucket of tools but he got stuck after falling over or collapsing, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said.
He had been trying to fix his aerial, according to news service Devon Live.
A friend had called 999 after spotting unopened milk bottles outside his home.
Mr Easton had been found lying face down on a garden rake, with the tools next to him, the ambulance service said.
At the time he had been taken to hospital.
But the former racing driver – known as Ton-Up Ron – died on Friday, according to a Twitter account for Kingsbridge Police, which described him as a “local legend”