Rev. Kenneth W. WestIssue Date: January 10, 2018
Rev. Kenneth W. West, 84, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
Born March 3, 1933, in DeKalb, Ill., the third child of Conrad and Hazel West, he enjoyed telling his birthdate of ŗ-3-33" and said he was born at 3 a.m.
He grew up on a dairy farm in Maple Park, Ill. and graduated from Maple Park High School. He then graduated from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, and Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul and was ordained into the ministry in 1959. He served his first parish in Dazey/Rogers, N.D., with his second Call to Seneca, Ill.
While at Augsburg, he met Barbara Hartz, a nursing student and they married in 1956. They had four children, Marcia Britain, Linda (Ken) Olson, Cindy (Jay) Krueger and David (Pam) West and were married for 45 years until she preceded him in death in March 2001.
In 1970, he moved to Marinette and became the Administrator and CEO of Northland Lutheran Retirement Community, a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Northland grew from a nursing home to include independent living apartments, assisted living and individual retirement homes. He retired from this ministry in 1996.
His sister, Norma Smith, introduced him to her dear friend, Shirley Carlson, whose late husband was also an ELCA pastor and on Dec, 28, 2002 they married in LaPorte, Ind. They built a home in Reedsburg and began their life there. Shirley's three children, Natalie (Gary) Bloomquist, Jonathan Carlson, and Kristine (Jerry) Harlow were blessed with a loving, caring step-father. Her three grandchildren and his 12 grandchildren made for a lot of birthdays to remember, along with 13 great-grandchildren.
He loved the Lord, loved people and talked to all he met wherever he was. He enjoyed landscaping and his lawn, spending many hours planning, planting and maintaining both along with landscaping St. John Lutheran Church also.
He served as interim administrator at Sauk County Health Care Center for nine months during their search for a new administrator in 2006. He enjoyed making lasting relationships with many of the staff there.
In 2012, they became residents of Ridgeview Heights Independent Living in Reedsburg and enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of their neighbors.
An active member of St. John Lutheran Church, he used his talents wherever needed.
A member of Sauk County Republican Party, he knocked on many doors during campaigns and enjoyed meeting and talking with lots of Reedsburg residents.
He is survived by his wife, Shirley; seven children; 15 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a sister, Norma Smith; a niece ; a nephew; sisters-in-law, Elody Olson and Nancy Johnson; a brother-in-law, John Hartz; many cousins and other extended family.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Barbara, he was preceded in death by a newborn sister; an infant brother, Norman; a sister, Evelyn and two brothers-in-law, Jerry Smith and Amorin Olson.
Visitation was held at St. John Ev. Lutheran Church in Reedsburg on Monday, Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. until time of a gathering to celebrate his life lived and service to the Lord and Savior at 1 p.m., with Pastor David Glesne officiating. Memorial gifts can be made to St. John Lutheran Church in Reedsburg; the Reedsburg Area Medical Center Foundation; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn. or Agrace Hospice Care.
Farber Funeral Home of Reedsburg is assisting the family with arrangements.
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