George Bennett West

August 1, 1928 – April 22, 2019

A loving father, husband and friend, George Bennett West passed away April 22, 2019. He was 90 years old. He leaves a legacy of believing in hard work, faith and family. He believed in perseverance and commitment and gave unconditional love to his family. Born Aug. 1, 1928 in Deer Lodge, Mont., he spent his early years in Mobridge, S.D., where his father worked for the railroads. He grew up in a close-knit family with four sisters and a brother. He attended Lincoln High School in Seattle where he met his first love, Elaine Grunden, whom he married just out of high school and two months after beginning his training in the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated from the University of Washington, where he majored in business and the couple had three children, the first of whom died shortly after birth. Just seven months after having her third child, at the age of 24, Elaine died of a sudden illness. George was lucky enough to find love again when he met Joan Rhodes on a blind date, and declared it was love at first sight. They soon married and had two more children. George and his family moved from the Pacific Northwest to Los Angeles, Calif., where he was recruited to Southern California Bonding Co., and attended law school at night. He later became vice president and general counsel of the company. On weekends, George coached all three of his sons on baseball teams and the family regularly hosted weekend, post-game pool parties. George enjoyed watching his grandchildren play baseball, softball and soccer. After retiring from his California job, he and Joan moved back to Washington where they settled in Poulsbo. A devout Episcopalian, he and Joan enjoyed their church community as well as traveling, visiting and sailing with their grown children and grandkids. George loved to read, and, in his later years, took up writing short stories. Sadly, Joan died in 2008 of cancer. After suffering a cerebral hemorrhage in 2017, George was in and out of hospitals and nursing homes, most recently at Martha & Mary in Poulsbo. He died peacefully with family members at his side. He is survived by sons, Kirk West of Los Angeles, Calif.; Cary West of Phoenix, Ariz.; daughter, Karen West (Mike Spence) of Bainbridge Island, WA.; sister Bea Holeman (Jim Holeman) of Medford, Ore.; nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by wives, Elaine and Joan, sons, Michael (infant) and Craig, (Nov. 2, 2018); and siblings, Ross, Frances, Alice and Kay. An intimate graveside family gathering will be May 17 at Acacia Memorial Park in Seattle. A memorial, family celebration of George’s life will be May 18 on Bainbridge Island.