Michael Patrick West (1951 - 2017)

19 entries
  • "My mom died 2 munths ageo mikes x wife of Cancer and all..."
    - Melissa Henry
  • "Aw, Mike. I had been thinking a lot about you and..."
    - Carol Smith
  • " Bless your time on earth..save a spot for Dave and I We..."
    - Dave Smith
  • "Regrettably I didn't know you for long Mike; however,..."
    - Nancy Marshall-McKeown
  • "My sincere sympathy to your family. May the God of all..."
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Michael Patrick West entered the world on June 15, 1951 in Conrad, Montana. He was the 2nd of six children born to Pat and Marjorie West. The family struck out for Alaska in 1959, settling in Douglas, where he attended St. Ann's School and Juneau Douglas High School. On this peaceful island, many lifelong friendships were born.

As a boy, Mike loved playing softball, basketball and running around Sandy Beach. His high spirited hi-jinx made him a natural at terrorizing Island residents as Vice President of the original Douglas Mafia. He seriously took his responsibility by ensuring the club was stocked with beer and cigarettes. Rumor has it small amounts of each were liberated from boats preparing to run up the Taku River for the weekend.

Peeling potatoes at Mike's Place for 50¢/5 gallon bucket was his first job. It was there that he had the thrill of meeting 'The Duke'- John Wayne. Perhaps, as a result, Mike always looked good in a cowboy hat.

A US Navy Vietnam Veteran, Mike resumed civilian life working in Prudhoe Bay, Douglas and Portland. Fishing, shrimping and crabbing in Alaska and Oregon allowed Mike to indulge his lifelong love for the sea. He also worked in construction and maintenance industries. While working, his gregarious demeanor allowed him to meet a few other celebrities in these fields, most notably; members of 'Deadliest Catch' and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wherever he went, adventure and a few good stories were sure to follow.

September 10, 1980, Mike proudly welcomed his son, Will West, in the delivery room by catching him like a fast ball.

An avid reader, history fascinated Mike and he never stopped learning and enjoying books and documentaries. Travel for Mike and Shannon often included historical sites and live blues music. Boston and Portland were favorite spots.

A deeply compassionate man, Mike enjoyed life with a childlike wonder, genuinely and without restraint. His love of children was easily returned. Numerous kids he once babysat may now have children of their own and he is often referred to as Uncle Mike to this day. As the custodian for Gastineau School, to those children - he was their Mr. Mike.

Mike passed away peacefully at home in the early morning hours of May 6, 2017 after a nine month struggle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents, Pat and Marjorie West, and his two dear sisters: Teresa and Colleen.

He is survived by: his son, Will West; wife, Shannon Devon; sister, Mary Cargill; brothers, Bill West (Lori) and Tom West (Shannon). Nieces and nephews: Erin West, Wesley Block, Waylon Waddell, Carson Cargill, Chris Harmon (Samantha), Dillon West (Breanna), Devon West. Great nephew and nieces Tate, Gracie, Rachel, Soulstis, and Aella.

A celebration of life will be held July 30, 2017, at Sandy Beach, log cabin shelter from 1-6pm with hamburgers/hotdogs and beer/sodas provided. Please consider bringing salads, chips, desserts. Kids, dogs, cowboy hats and aloha shirts are encouraged.

Mike's signature line was guaranteed to make us laugh; 'Glad you had a chance to see me!' Indeed we were. Your friendship and stories have blessed us with laughter for years to come. You will be missed.
Published in The Juneau Empire from June 30 to July 29, 2017
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