Budleigh’s Rina will be ‘sadly missed’

One of Budleigh Salterton’s oldest residents has died aged 104 after a brief illness.

Mrs Robina ‘Rina’ Westcott (pictured) died on June 6 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Wonford.

She was born in March 1907 and raised in Edinburgh – where she was determined to study at the city’s university.

Her hopes were dashed when her father changed career and the family moved to Bradninch.

Disappointed at her thwarted plans to study at the university of her choice, Rina settled on a degree course at the University of London, where she was chaperoned and lived with relatives.


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Her studies enabled her to enjoy a long and successful career in teaching.

Before she retired, she was the owner and headmistress of her own school in Cullompton.

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While her life was firmly set in Devon, Rina never lost her love for her native Scotland, or her accent. She married Spencer Westcott, a widower and local garage owner, and the pair settled in Clevedon before moving to Budleigh Salterton on their retirement.

Rina remained in the town after her husband’s death, where she continued to live independently in her own home, cooking and cleaning for herself with the minimum of assistance until the last few months of her life.

Great-great niece Marie Evernden said: “She was still driving when well into her 90s and was even considering moving house at the age of 103!

“Until her final illness, and despite increasing deafness and loss of sight, Rina remained a strong character who never lost her feisty wit and intelligence.

“She was capable of holding her own in any company – not a lady to cross swords with!”

Rina was a regular worshipper at the Glenorchy Church, formerly on the Salterton Road, Exmouth.

Marie added: “She will be sadly missed by her friends there, her very good neighbours in Budleigh Salterton and her great-great-nieces and nephew from her marriage to Spencer.”

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