James Leroy West Jr. (1949 - 2018)

  • "Jim was a good friend & an American patriot to his core, he..."
    - Mark & Barbara Cochran
  • "May the God of comfort be with you at this time"
    - Connie
  • "My family's thoughts and prayers are with you all. I have..."
    - Darrell kooly
  • "You will never be forgotten Jim."
    - Dawn McKibbon

James Leroy West Jr., 68, passed away with family and friends at his bedside at Central Peninsula Hospital on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Soldotna.

A celebration of his life will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, January 20, at Star of the North Lutheran Church in Kenai with Pastor Dustin Atkinson presiding.

Jim was born on Nov. 16, 1949, and hailed from Lakeside, Oregon, where he graduated from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in Vietnam on PBRs (Patrol Boat River) from 1968 through 1970. He was honorably discharged after being seriously wounded and earning the Purple Heart with Gold Star, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. He came to the Kenai Peninsula in early 1974 with his best friend, Van Crowell, to log at Jakalof Bay outside Seldovia. In 1975, he and his young family moved to Kenai where he began work in the oilfields, moving from roughneck to driller and lastly to tool pusher, eventually retiring in 2015.

By his own admission, while working for various oil contractors, Quick Construction, Nabors Drilling, Parker Drilling and Alaska United Drilling, he occasionally had to attend "charm school." But as far as his coworkers were concerned, he was always willing to lend a hand or do a favor for someone, and working for over 40 years in the oil patch, many people came to think of him as a dear friend.

Jim was a member Star of the North Lutheran Church in Kenai and enjoyed fishing and hunting, snowmachining and four-wheeler riding at the cabin in the Caribou Hills. He had a large extended family and was a beloved father and grandfather, and whether he was with family or with friends, he loved to have fun and make sure others had fun as well.

He was preceded in death by his wife Betty (Adolf) West and his father, James Leroy West Sr. His brother Gary has been missing many years and is presumed deceased.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Holly West of Soldotna and his sons, Brandon West and his wife, Julie, also of Soldotna, and John Layton and wife Lori of Bend, Oregon. Other survivors include his mother, Patricia West of Lakeside, Oregon, and his brother, Larry West, and sisters Debbie Mullens and Marlene Wortley, all of the North Bend/Coos Bay, Oregon area. He is also survived by a stepson, Brian Cornett and wife Cindy of Kenai, and stepdaughter, Stacey Heilala and husband Matt of Anchorage, and by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy.
Kenai, AK 99611
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Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Jan. 18, 2018
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