Kenneth WEST

Obituary
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WEST, Kenneth Ernest
April 16, 1946 - Calgary, AB
November 17, 2013 - Bragg Creek, AB
Suddenly but peacefully, Ken West, our much-loved husband, father and friend, resident for 30 years of Bragg Creek, left us on Sunday, November 17, 2013 after a challenging four and a half years of throat cancer treatments. He slipped away quietly in his own bed, in his own home, with his wife Sandy by his side and his two sons, Aaron and Graeme, nearby. The son of Lt. Col. J.G. West and Dr. Margaret West, both deceased, he leaves behind him Sandy, his best friend and companion of 46 years, his two sons Aaron (Jacqueline) and Graeme (Danni), four dear grandchildren, Lucas, Erika, Madeline and Lauren; sister Marilyn (Len) and family, brother Ian (Anna) of Nova Scotia, brother-in-law John Watt (Lindsay) in Scotland and many friends across Canada and in the UK. Ken was a big man in all sorts of ways and lived a good life, full to the brim with fun, laughter, delight and an insatiable curiosity especially about ideas. His family and friends mourn his absence but are so thankful that they knew this passionate and compassionate man. Ken had both an eye for the far horizons that let him spot a bull moose on a hillside miles away and yet also allowed him miraculously to see the first tiny wild strawberry growing under leaves on a bank of dense grasses. He delighted especially in Nature, large and small, in his horses and dogs, and in the company of family and friends. With a keen sense of humour and a penchant for outrageous story-telling and equally outrageous debate, he enjoyed the role of "mein host" and presided over many a wild and wonderful dinner table conversation in his Bragg Creek home. Ken was born in Calgary and was raised an army brat, living in several Canadian postings and for three exciting years in London, UK. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Math and Physics from Dalhousie University in 1967, and a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Alberta in 1971, in the special area of glaciology, under the wise and benevolent tutelage of Dr. Roy Krouse. Ken taught at UBC for a short time as an Instructor, after which he went to the oil patch and worked for Amoco Canada as an exploration geophysicist from 1974, with a special interest in off-shore exploration. He was designated a "Quiz Kid" and was sent to Chicago with his family for a year, thoroughly enjoying the city and the people he met. He returned to the Calgary office in 1981 and rose to become Chief Geophysicist until the Dome/Amoco merger, after which he went over to the newly-formed Crestar in 1991 and became the V.P. of Explorations and the President of Crestar International. His years with Crestar, and especially with his work teams, were very special to Ken and he never forgot the people he was privileged to work with. Ken was a natural mentor and guardian of others and that helped him to be a great manager who truly cared for the people who worked for him. Ken retired in 2000 and spent the next decade in his beloved outdoor activities such as golfing (minimally), hiking (majorly), skiing (expertly) and, most loved of all, horse riding (joyously) through the beautiful countryside round Bragg Creek, which was a Paradise to him. Sadly, in 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer but faced its many challenges very staunchly. He came to appreciate fully the work of the compassionate people at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and was especially grateful for the care of the nurses in the medical chemo unit. Ken's family wants to thank especially the oncologists Dr. Skarsgard, Dr. Webster, Dr. Hao and Dr. Nordel, and their assistant nurses, especially Camellia, Nancy and Patti, for their dedicated work. Warm thanks to our very special GP, Dr. Sandra Lahey of Cochrane, who regularly goes above and beyond the call as a physician. A Celebration of Ken's life will be held at The Cochrane RancheHouse in the Chinook Room (101 RancheHouse Road, Cochrane, AB T4C 2K8), on Friday, November 29, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Ken's name may be made directly to the Cochrane Humane Society (S.P.C.A.), 62 Griffin Industrial Pointe, Cochrane, AB, T4C 0A3, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, c/o Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 1331 - 29 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 4N2 (Telephone 1-866-412-4222, www.albertacancer.ca/memorial) or to the Alberta SPCA (http://www.albertaspca.org/). Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In living memory of Ken West, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane.

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Published in The Calgary Herald from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25, 2013
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