BENJAMIN C. WEST

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BENJAMIN CLEVELAND WEST  

Died on June 13, 2014, at Prince George's Hospital Center, in Cheverly, Maryland, at the age of 87.
Son of Gilson Montgomery West and Mabel Amelia Edwards West, he was born on December 27, 1926, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and grew up in Washington, D.C. As a boy, during the Depression, he delivered both morning and evening newspapers to support his mother and younger brother, Meredith. He completed his high school education at night, and during World War II, served as Private First Class in the United States Marine Corps, from which he was honorably discharged.
In 1942, at the age of 15, Mr. West was employed by the United States Congress. After a few months as an electrician's helper and elevator operator, he joined the staff of the House of Representatives Press Gallery, where he worked until his retirement in 1986. In 1969, he was appointed Superintendent of the Gallery, supervising and modernizing its operations, and spearheading a major remodeling of its offices. He also planned and managed press facilities at the national conventions of both major political parties.
During his retirement, Mr. West continued to read several newspapers each day and perfected his golf game. He also participated in an extensive oral history project with the Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives. The results of those efforts are available at http://history.house.gov/Oral-History/People/Benjamin-West/.
Mr. West is survived by his daughter, Deborah K. Owen; his son, Robert B. West; and his former wife, Beverly R. West, to whom he was married for 41 years.
At Mr. West's request, his interment, with military honors, at Fort Lincoln Cemetery on June 25, 2014, was private.


Published in The Washington Post on July 3, 2014
bullet Marines bullet WWII
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