William L. West was ushered into the presence of his Lord and Savior on Monday, September 13, 2021, surrounded by his family. Born March 20, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa to William Dale Stumbaugh and Lola Irene West Stumbaugh, he was adopted at age four by his maternal grandparents, Rufus and Anna West. Growing up, he attended a one-room school named “West School” after his great grandfather. He attended Des Moines’ East High School and was a member of the 1942 State Champion Cross Country Team. He attended Drake University and the University of Dubuque and graduated from Northwestern University. He was a Navy Veteran of WW2 and the Korean War, retiring as a Lt. Commander. He worked at Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., retiring as Executive VP Worldwide Quality Control after 40 years. He was a man of deep faith and a member of The Chapel in Akron for over 30 years, serving in Urban Ministries and as an Usher and Prayer Partner.
He loved the outdoors, especially snow skiing and the beach. His favorite place was the second chickee hut at the Residents Beach on Marco Island where he spent many beautiful winter days. His entire extended family, including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, all gathered on Marco Island to celebrate his 90th birthday and share our favorite sayings and clever songs he composed over the years: a list numbering well over 100!
He loved history and researched and wrote a 300-page book on the history of his family dating back to the 1600’s, including his Native-American ancestry and many family members who fought in the Revolutionary War.
He was the world’s best host and insisted on his guests being well-fed. When out-of-town guests would visit, he would often call weeks ahead of time to ensure the fridge and pantry were stocked with everyone’s favorite foods. He was famous for his french-onion dip, baked beans, fried eggs, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. If you were lucky enough to live in the “delivery zone” you could expect his version of “Meals on Wheels”, typically a delicious crock pot meal with fresh bread, jello, and cookies.
Along with his gift of hospitality, he made friends very easily at each stage of his life and cherished and nurtured those relationships until the very end. He was a servant leader, the kindest human, and loved by everyone who knew him. We will all miss him terribly.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister (Dolores Hunstead), and grandson (Nathan West). He is survived by his loving wife Carol, whom he adored and cherished for 57 years. He is also survived by sons William L. West Jr. (DiAnn) and Stephen West (Gretchen); daughters Leah Scherer (Mark), Elizabeth Ward (Marc), Ellen Mabee (Scott), and Barbara Reece (Chris); 15 grandchildren: Christopher, Nicholas, Spencer, Samuel, William (III), Lindsay, Samantha, Sean, Jacob, Peter, Jayne, Anna, Kelly, Bradley, and Julia; and 14 great-grandchildren: Dane, Owen, Thomas, Zachary, Lindsey, Billy, Rylee, Selah, Zoe, Arrow, Jehu, Rowan, Rory, and Elias.
A memorial service will be held at Billows Funeral Home, 85 N. Miller Rd., Akron, OH 44333, on Monday, September 20 at 6:00 pm, with his grandson, Pastor Sean Mabee, officiating. Friends may call at 5:00 pm, prior to the service. The service will be live streamed on the Billow Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BillowFuneralHomes. Private Inurnment will be at Rising Sun Cemetery in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be sent to Haven of Rest Ministries, 24 N. Prospect St., Akron, OH 44304, www.havenofrest.org.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes and Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel 85 N. Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.
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