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Dr. Wilson H. West

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Dr. Wilson H. West, 93, of Belleville, Ill., born Sept. 13, 1913, in Odin, Ill., died Monday, May 21, 2007, at his home, surrounded by his lov-ing family.

Dr. West was a member of the Signal Hill United Methodist Church, Gothic Lodge 852 AF & AM for 65 years, the Scottish Rite Bodies, Emmanuel Commandery 81 KT, Cahokia Chapter 156 RAM, St. Clair Council 61 CM and the Ainad Shrine. He was also a member of the St. Clair County Medical Society and served as its president in 1971. West also served on the Board of Directors of the Union Bank of St. Clair County for 25 years.

He was an active member and leader in the Republican Party. Dr. West was viewed by many as the foremost author-ity on the Republican Party in Southwestern Illinois. He served as Chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Cen-tury Club for more than 25 years, elected as a delegate at seven Republican National Conventions, and was an Elector in the Electoral College for three Presidential Elections. He was very active in local, state, and national politics and hosted prominent politicians at St. Clair County events, including Former President George H. W. Bush, Dennis Hastert, the late Everett Dirksen, Howard Baker, Jay Rockefeller, and many others. Illinois politicians have attended local events at his invitation, including former Treasurer Judy Barr-Topinka and former Governors Ryan, Edgar, Thompson, and Ogilvie. He was proud to have attended the inaugurations of many presidents and gover-nors and was a frequent guest at the Governor's Mansion and the White House.

After graduating from Southern Illinois Teachers College (now Southern Illinois University at Carbondale) in 1933, Dr. West pursued his M.D. at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He gradu-ated in 1937 and practiced general medicine and surgery in the metro east area for 60 years. After 45 years of practice in East St. Louis, he moved his office to Belleville, Ill., until his retirement in 1997. Dr. West served on the board of Centreville (now Touchette Regional Hospital) for forty years. He also served as Chief of Staff at Centerville, Chris-tian Welfare, and Saint Mary's Hospital at various times during his career. West wrote for medical research journals and was a professor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, and Barnes Hospital. Dr. West leaves a legacy to his patients of 60 years of service with dedicated professionalism and compassionate care. He touched many lives with his understanding, care, and con-cern. He provided outstanding treatment to three generations of Southwestern Illinoisans.

Dr. West is the namesake and past recipient of the St. Clair County Medical Society's Wilson H. West Award for service in the health care profession. West was honored as an "outstanding alumnus" by the St. Louis University School of Medicine. In 1966, West received the Everett Dirksen Award and subsequently established a Nursing Scholarship with the same organization. In 2002, Dr. West was awarded the prestigious Eisenhower Commission. He was awarded lifetime membership on the Republican National Committee, the honorary organizations, Republican Speaker's Circle, and the President's Club.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 58 years, Sarah Mildred, nee In-gram, West; parents, William and Clara Ella, nee Sebastian, West; and his two sisters, Georgia Purvis and Margaret West.

Dr West is survived by his only son, John (Shirley) West of O'Fallon, Ill.; five grandchil-dren, Kimberly Caslin, Mardi West, John (Cheryl) West Jr., Sarah West, and Jason West; and five great grandchildren, Claire (John) Allread, Ryan Caslin, Melissa West, John West III, and Noah Caslin.

The family would like to ex-tend a special thanks to Dr. Vest, Dr. Pathan, Dr. Pardo, Hospice of Southern Illinois,The Living Angels, and Marsha Furby for their won-derful care and support. Memorials may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children or Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 24, 2007, at Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill., and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 25, 2007, at Signal Hill United Methodist Church, Belleville, Ill. A Masonic Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the funeral home.

Funeral: Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 25, 2007, at Signal Hill United Methodist Church, Belleville, Ill., with the Rev. Ray Long officiating. Burial will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, Ill.

Published in Belleville News-Democrat on May 23, 2007
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