Marcella Loretta Keifer WEST

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  • - John & Connie West
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WEST, Marcella Loretta Keifer, 90, formerly of San Antonio, Fla. died on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at Evergreen Assisting Living in Albany, Ga. A rosary will be conducted on Monday, February 4, at 9 a.m. followed by visitation at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in San Antonio, Fla. A funeral Mass will also be celebrated on Monday, February 4 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church with Father Edwin Palka officiating. Born August 4, 1922 in Dunedin, Fla., Mrs. West was the daughter of the late Albert and Louise Kiefer of San Antonio, Fla. She was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin L. West, of Kansas City, Mo., and two brothers, William Albert "Bill" Kiefer and Albert Otto "Al" Kiefer both of San Antonio, Fla. She is survived by her four children; Marvin L. West of Chula, Ga., Judy West Eakin of Atlanta, Ga., John W. West (Connie) of Durango, Colo., and Gerald T. West (Kathy) of Smyrna, Ga.; 8 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Loretta was considered a pioneer in the field of journalism. After attending the University of Denver, Wayne University in Detroit and graduating from LSU in 1943, she worked as a reporter for the New Orleans State and Times-Picayune newspapers in New Orleans. Then, closer to home, she held positions as a feature writer and photographer for the Tampa Times. In 1948, Loretta accepted an opportunity to publish a weekly sports newspaper in Kansas City, Mo., and wrote under the pen name Larry Kiefer. It was on a photo shoot for Armour and Company in Kansas City where she would meet her future husband, Marvin. During their many trips from Kansas City to San Antonio, Fla. to visit family and friends; they would always overnight in Albany, Ga. In 1963, at the age of 40, Loretta decided to make a bold career change: She would teach and relocate to Albany. Mrs. West accepted a position at Morningside Elementary in Albany. She later taught at St. Teresa's Catholic School, Merry Acres Junior High and Westover High School, where her Journalism background played a prominent role. She then spent 14 years with Darton College as public information coordinator before retiring in 1988. She spent her retirement traveling the world and spoiling her 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Mrs. West's final resting place will be The Garden of Memories in San Antonio, Fla. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the St. Anthony of Padua School Scholarship Fund.

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb. 1, 2013