Zetella Perron nee Sewell

Zetella, just before her 91st birthday, Narrogin, March 2004

Zetella  or Stella as she was usually known was born on 11/03/1913 at Ilkeston in Derbyshire, UK, and was the eldest of 6.  Growing up she was always seemed to be looking after children and after a day at school she would line up the little ones and try to teach them what she had learned that day.  She was smart at school and her teachers wanted her to stay on at school for further education but another wage was wanted at home so she had to leave.  She worked in a shoe shop and worked her way up to be manageress.

She met Reg Perron and they were soon  'courting strong'. He was studying to be a pharmacist at Nottingham University and many an evening she insisted they work together helping him with his homework when Reg would rather be taking his girl to the pictures.

Qualified they married on 02/04/1934 at the local parish church St Mary's in Ilkeston, and for a while they moved around as Reg did locum  work. They eventually settled down in Coventry where their daughter Joan was born in 1936.  They lived there throughout the war years and Stella had a period of work in a munitions factory then joined the Royal Observer Corps where she had a responsible position on the top table passing information relevant to the plotting of enemy planes entering their airspace.

Most nights were spent in the air raid shelter as bombs landed around them. It is often told that Joan said one night,' Stop shaking me Mummy' as Stella shook with the terror of it all. {Joan's war time memories}.

After the war Reg bought his own Pharmacy in Nottingham and the family moved back to Ilkeston where Stella had started from.  The shop  was small and scruffy in a rather run down area, but Stella pitched in and they worked together cleaning, making changes and with her friendly open manner she brought in lots of customers and the shop was soon very busy.  She worked there until Joan left school and took over.  In that time they designed a house and had it built, again in Ilkeston. Stella became a lady of leisure, learned to drive and was soon nipping all over the place in her bright red Mini. Soon she was ferrying her two grandchildren around. She often spoke of the times when she used to take Kenn out with her when he was little, seat belts were unknown then and he used to like to stand up in the front, despite her warnings, until one day a sudden stop showed him how it could hurt being in the front, after that he traveled in the back.

Stella though never a sports woman, played golf for a while, not really artistic she tried painting at night school and turned out some unusual but attractive work. Her forays into gardening were typified by rather drastic actions like cutting down 6 apple trees because Reg had fallen out of one. Her greatest love was traveling and when Reg retired they took a world cruise calling in on relatives  on both sides of Australia.  After that they were always off on bus tours in England and Europe sometimes for several weeks and often for long weekends bringing back lots of photos and cine film. She and Reg played Scrabble and cards for hours in the little bungalow they had retired to on the outskirts of Nottingham.

In 1991 she lost her Reg after a fight with cancer.  She never showed a tear, but the loss went deep and she never got over it.  Only 4 months later her daughter and son-in-law emigrated to Australia, following their daughter.  This blow, so soon after the loss of Reg caused her to have a stroke leaving her with poor short term memory and poor balance.  After the statutory 2 years Joan asked Stella to join them and she said "Yes", so at the age of 82 she joined her family in WA.

She always had a close loving relationship with her two grand children, Kenn and Debbie so it was a delight for her to be there when Debbie made her a Great grand mother to Adam and  later to Emma and she has loved watching them grow up.  In 2000 she was over the moon when her dear grand son landed in WA and made the family complete.So she was able to have the whole family around her when she celebrated her 90th birthday .

In the 11 years she had left, she lived with family for a while, then in a Cottage home just across the road, and when she needed more care, she moved into the Karinya hostel, which again was just across the road from her daughter's home.  Although she dearly loved being with her family, she did not find settling in Australia easy.  She found making friends difficult, a shy lady she lacked confidence to make overtures, intermittent deafness and the short term memory loss made it hard too. She was always popular with the staff around her as she was generous with praise and appreciation and took an interest in them. Her love of playing cards did help her join some groups and her intellect never wavered. She was always there with her answers at games and quizzes, and in her last months in the Nursing Home she and Joan played cards every day, and she won more games than she lost.

She never talked much about religion but  she usually attended the church services, not worrying much which denomination was officiating. Her beliefs were simple and she hoped she would be reunited with her Reg when her time came.

Stella's 90th birthday

Born: 11/03/1913 at Ilkeston in Derbyshire, UK
Died: 12/10/2006 in Narrogin, WA, Australia
Stella's Family Tree
Father: William Sewell
Mother: Mary Sewell nee Staniforth
Married: Reginald Perron 02/04/1934
Children: Audrey Joan Crosby

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