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John Roger West
December 24, 1946 ~ August 23, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
John West passed away peacefully from Pancreatic Cancer surrounded by his wife Mary and family on August 23, 2023. He was 76 year young.
John was born the eldest fraternal twin to John Lawrence West Jr. and Vivian Ruth Starner on Christmas Eve 1946 in Long Beach California. His favorite memories of growing up in Lakewood CA, was flying on his bike through early Los Angeles, watching Dodger Stadium breaking ground.
John was a shy teenager when he met his high school sweetheart Kathleen Shirley, and in 1969, they married, knowing he had just enlisted in the Air Force to serve four years during the Vietnam War.Off Sargent West went to study Mandarin at the Monterey California Military Language school, shipping out to Taiwan as a Voice Processing Specialist to intercept transmissions of Chinese pilots.
Using his Military GI Bill, John became a UCLA Alumus with post grad business and finance studies at University of Chicago, USC, Stanford and Golden Gate University (MBA) in San Francisco.
He built a family and career in Orange County, CA, for 20 years as a Banking Vice President in Corporate Lending and Marketing then for 20 years as a a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer. John was highly respected for his business ethics and always went the extra mile developing many lifelong friendships with his clients.
He never expected after his wife of 43 years Kathleen passed away in 2012, that he would meet and eventually marry in 2014 Mary Lynn Thomas, who lived in a little town in the wine country called St. Helena. For 11 years John and Mary Thomas West went on to have many adventures all over the world.
Throughout his life John had a passion for Wine and its history and as a young man started visiting Napa Valley studying and collecting the finest wines in the world. His final career was during his last year with us, working for Tor Winery and St. Helena Winery part time which he couldn't believe how much fun he was having.
John enjoyed fully his new life and friends in Napa Valley. He thrived and always had a zest for life. He was well known and loved by all. Physical activity was always part of his life whether biking, hiking, climbing the Eiffel Tower three times on vacation, or a fixture at the gym, he stayed fit.
He belonged to many groups in Napa Valley and if you ran into John, he'd pride himself on remembering your name. If you belong to the St. Helena American Legion, Native Sons of the Golden West, Odd Fellows Lodge 167 and in the town of Napa his partners in crime Table 31 at Bistro Don Giovanni or at the Napa Valley Mens Luncheon Club you probably knew John West.
John West is survived by his twin brother, Jim West; his elder brother, Lee West, and wife Mary Thomas West; his daughter, Emily Reuter; her sons: Jackson Reuter, Forrest Hetzel and Forrest's son, Sterling. As well as John's son, Ryan West, his son, Ethan and Ethan's son, Oliver and daughter Alexa.
John was content with his life when he died. His ashes will be taken to the Hawaiian Islands he has loved since childhood. In celebration please raise a glass to a good man for a life well lived with no regrets. He will be greatly missed by all.