William James “Bill” West of St. Thomas, passed away peacefully, at the age of 81, on Friday, December 28, 2012, with his family by his side. Born in New Sarum, Ontario, on January 19, 1931. Beloved husband of Mercedes “Teadie” (nee Stewart) for 59 years and dearly loved father of Cheryl, Bradley, and Venna. Brother of Shirley Adams and Lenore Flintoff; survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed. Predeceased by his parents, John and Pearl West, and brother, Donald.
Bill was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the Royal Canadian Navy from 1950 to 1955. He was a St. Thomas police officer for 33 years. Bill and his family shared their home for over 23 years with more than 100 foster infants.
Bill was an avid fisherman and hunter. He enjoyed 10-pin bowling, line-dancing, crossword puzzles and playing cards. He helped rebuild the Union United Church and was a member of Grace United Church.
He and his wife enjoyed RVing across Canada, USA, and Mexico, and especially going to NASCAR races. Since his retirement in 1989, he and his wife travelled between their winter home in Brownsville, Texas, their summer home in Whites’ Cove, New Brunswick, and their home base in St. Thomas, Ontario.
The West family collected and contributed to a missionary outreach program which provides food, shelter, schooling and clothing (including Teadie’s homemade quilts and hand-knit sweaters) to very poor children and their families in Matamoros, Mexico. As a tribute to Bill, those wishing to make a contribution, are asked to consider donating to the First Baptist Church Missions Fund, Brownsville, Texas.
Shawn Jackson Funeral Home, 31 Elgin Street, St. Thomas, Ontario (519) 631-0570, is entrusted with arrangements. In keeping with his wishes, his body is being donated to medical research, and a private ceremony will be held at the Union Cemetery at a later date. Flowers gratefully declined.
The family would like to express their grateful appreciation for the care and compassion over the past two years to the staff of Terrace Lodge in Aylmer; St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital, and especially, most recently, the staff of the Elgin Manor in St. Thomas. Special thanks and gratitude to our friends for their caring support in so many ways.