|"Toots" Westell, age 16. Photo courtesy of her son, Don Jarrell.|
Susan Lorena "Toots" Westell, born 11 May 1923 was nine years old when her father, Oran Westell became keeper of the Kincardine Lighthouse in 1929.
A coal stove in the lighthouse kitchen was their only source of heat for a long time so they wore long underwear for months. Toots was allowed to remove her long underwear and go for a swim around the May 24th weekend.
|Toots atop her home, the Kincardine Lighthouse, c1933. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
The third floor of the lighthouse is where they turned on the big light. Toots recalled that when she and her sister got the giggles, their mother would send them up there and close the trap door until they calmed down.
In her youth, Toots was a dancer and drummer for the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band. Founded in 1908, it's believed to be the oldest street pipe band with unbroken service in Ontario.
|Toots, age 18. Photo courtesy of Dan Jarrell.|
At the end of the war in 1945, Toots took a hairdressing course in Toronto and set up her own business in Kincardine.
Romance bloomed when Toots met Kincardine-born John Mackinnon "Mac" Jarrell (1917-1986.) Toots and Mac met through an arranged ride from Toronto to Kincardine. Mac was attending University in Toronto at the time, while Toots was attending hairdressing school - and both of their mothers agreed to arrange the ride home.
Prior to meeting Toots, Mac was one of the nearly 9,000 Canadians held in prisoner of war camps during the Second World War.
On 27 April 1946, Toots and Mac were married.
|Toots on her wedding day. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
The couple headed to Detroit for their honeymoon.
|Toots honeymooning in Detroit, 1946. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
|Mac Jarrell on his honeymoon in Detroit, 1946. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
Children soon followed. Donald Gordon Jarrell and his sister were both born in Kincardine.
|Toots with her first child, Donald Gordon Jarrell, age 3 weeks in February, 1947. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
The Jarrell family moved to London, Ontario in 1949 when Mac accepted a job with the Department of National Revenue.
|The Jarrell's lived in this house at 1407 Brydges Street, London, Ontario from 1949-1952. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
|The house is still there. Image captured 2017.|
In 1952, Mac was transferred and the family moved to St. Catharines, Ontario where another son was born.
|Toots and Mac Jarrell with a painting of their house in St. Catharines. Their neighbours presented this gift to them when they learned of Mac's retirement and decision to move back to Kincardine.|
When their youngest child was 10, Toots took a job as a buyer for the five Canadian locations of the Right House department store. She retired at age 50.
|The Right House department store.|
Mac died in 1986. Toots died 12 April 2013 at St. Catharines General Hospital, age 89. Mac and Toots are buried in Kincardine Cemetery.
|Toots Jarrell. Still drumming in 1974. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
|Toots Jarrell. Still doing the Highland Fling in 1974. Every one of her children and grandchildren could perform the basic steps of a Highland Fling, thanks to her. Photo courtesy of Don Jarrell.|
John Culbert & Mary Ward (2xgreat-grandparents)
Elizabeth "Eliza" Culbert & Richard Dagg (great-grandparents)
Susan Dagg & Omar Westell (grandparents)
Oran Westell & Jane Russell (parents)