Wendell David West, 80
Wendell West, loving husband to Joan, father to Wendi, Angi and Adam, joined the Lord in Heaven on Wednesday, January 5, at home after an extended illness.
Born on September 22, 1941, to Ruby Louise Joiner West and William Anthony (W.A.) West, Jr., in Metter, Georgia, the youngest of three sons, Wendell was a 1959 honor graduate of Metter High School. After graduation, he attended Georgia Tech and then transferred to Georgia Southern College where he graduated in 1962 with a degree in business administration. After graduation, he and his new bride, Joan, moved to Atlanta where he began his career with Equifax (the former Retail Credit), and he and Joan welcomed their first daughter, Wendi. In 1964, they moved to Savannah where he served as an engineer for the Transportation and Engineering Department with the City of Savannah, was director of personnel at Candler General Hospital, and then returned to Equifax where he would spend the remainder of his career. While in Savannah, they welcomed their second daughter, Angi. They eventually returned to Wendell’s hometown of Metter where he and Joan finished raising their two daughters and welcomed a son, Adam.
A devout Christian, Wendell served his Lord and churches in many capacities in Savannah and in Metter. His lifelong church home was Evergreen Baptist Church where he was an ordained deacon, served as church treasurer for countless years, sang bass in the choir, and claimed and occupied the same pew Sunday after Sunday, year after year.
During his time at Georgia Tech, Wendell studied architecture and engineering which became a lifelong passion. He had great vision and the ability to implement his many ideas and see them come to life. He designed and built homes, apartments, workshops, furniture, doghouses, and more. While serving for a decade on the Candler County Board of Education, he envisioned and drew the plans for the current Metter High School in a hub and spoke design which has become a widely used style throughout the state and beyond. He had dreams to continue with many more projects long after his aging body and mind should have allowed.
The consummate do-it-yourselfer, Wendell was forced to unplug the power tools after several unfortunate incidents resulted in “frequent-flier ambulance status” to visit his many “friends” at local emergency rooms. Their grown children never knew what to expect when the phone rang in the wee hours of the morning with calls from their mom, other family members, or neighbors. Determined as ever, as a lefty living in a righty world, Wendell’s last project was a gift for his bride, an entertainment center that was ultimately completed with 8 fingers. With dignity and humor, he embraced his altered anatomy with some new, witty party tricks.
Wendell loved his wife, children, and six grandchildren fiercely and considered them to be his life’s greatest accomplishment. But having been raised by parents who were young adults during the Great Depression, he was not a big fan of foolishness (although he did have a quick wit and a wicked, very dry sense of humor). His most cherished moments for many years were when Joan and his children were under one roof with no interruptions, having them all to himself. As grandchildren came along, “Papa” lovingly gave them pet names (very fitting in many cases, we might add). Although his children put great thought and consideration into the names for each child, he never used them, choosing to call them “Stinkeroo”, “Big ‘Un”, “Sweetpea”, “Sugarplum”, “Peaches” and “PJ” instead.
In return for Wendell’s never-ending love and affection, we, as his family, encourage each of you to kiss your spouse, hug your parents, your children, your grandparents and grandchildren, other family, friends and neighbors, and express your love often. Although we permanently lost Wendell on January 5, Alzheimer’s took him from us long ago. We want to express our appreciation to the social workers, nurses, and staff at Ogeechee Area Hospice for their thoughtful support and care during this journey.
Wendell was preceded in death by his parents and oldest brother, Howard West of Claxton, GA.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, to whom he referred as “Saint Joan”, his daughters, Wendi West Wells (John) of Atlanta, Angi West Einstein (Howard) of Greenville, S.C., son, Adam West (Beth) of Athens, and grandchildren, Davis Einstein of Charlotte, N.C., Brant Wells and fiancé, Reeves Turner, of Atlanta, Meg Einstein and fiancé, Daniel Heard, of Greenville, S.C., Audrey Wells of Atlanta, and Lanier and Price West of Athens as well as his loving, devoted brother, Carlton West, of Savannah, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation will be from 5-7 pm on Friday, January 7, at Kennedy Funeral Homes - Hooks Chapel in Metter, with services at 11 am on Saturday, January 8, at Evergreen Baptist Church. Burial will be immediately following in the Evergreen Baptist Church cemetery. Memorials or donations may be made to Evergreen Baptist Church, P.O. Box 325, Cobbtown, Georgia, 30420, or Ogeechee Area Hospice at 200 Donehoo Street, Statesboro, Georgia, 30458.