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Philip West

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CARTERVILLE - Dr. Philip T. West, 82, of Carterville, formerly of Michigan, Massachusetts, Long Island (New York) and Texas, died at 9:02 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Herrin Hospital.

Philip was born June 17, 1931, in Detroit, Mich., to Phillip and Eleanor (Osborne) West.

He married Joan E. West on Oct. 2, 1951, in St. James Catholic Church in Salem, Mass., who died Nov. 14, 2003, in Carterville. He remarried Sept. 14, 2004, to Alma Mercader West, his wife of nearly 10 years, at Chulu Catholic Church in Hualien, Taiwan. He had stated prior to death, "I had the good fortune to have married two of the greatest women in my lifetime."

He is survived by his wife, Alma, and their daughter, Rose, from his second marriage and his mother-in-law Gaudeneia Mercader. From his previous marriage, survivors include his son Dr. Thomas P. West of Brookings, S.D.; his daughter, Dr. Phylis West Johnson of Carterville; and his three grandchildren (youngest to oldest) Julianna West Johnson of Carterville, Jennifer Rosemary Johnson of Carterville, and of Tuscon, Ariz., Nicholas Christian Johnson and his wife, Jennifer.

Dr. West retired September 2004 as professor emeritus of Educational Administration at Texas A&M University. Dr. West was responsible for providing leadership in a specialization designed to prepare students for public relations positions in education, business and industry, government, and the military.

He attended Boston University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in education (English and social studies). He earned a master's degree in secondary education (English), and continued on to earn a doctorate in philosophy in educational administration (cognates in English and philosophy) in 1971. He had additional coursework in early childhood education from Indiana University (1973), administration and creative writing from Columbia University (1968), and supervision of instruction from New York University (1969). He was granted lifetime administration certification in New York, California, Iowa, Massachusetts, and California (specialties in secondary school principalship, and secondary English and social studies).

Dr. West had recently authored two books, one with his wife, Alma, to be published in the near future. He is the author of four published academic books, with his most distinguished being "Educational Public Relations (Sage)," along with nearly 200 refereed, peer reviewed articles, book chapters and publications. During his lifetime, he was editor/co-editor of numerous journals including the "Community Education Research Journal," "Community Education Journal," "School PR Case Study Workbook," "Journal of Educational Public Relations (Research)" formerly "Journal of Educational Communication," "The AASA Professor," and most prominently "Editor-in-Chief of Educational Administration Abstracts." Locally, he was editor of the "2004 Anthology (Prose and Poetry)" for the Southern Illinois Writers Guild (SIWG). He was an international consultant in his specialty, traveling regularly across North America and Asia.

Dr. West's experience included numerous distinguished appointments, including director of the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) Program Center for Educational Public Relations (1984-1997). He was professor of Educational Administration at Texas A&M University, 1981 to 1997. He is best known in his role as coordinator for the public relations specialization there, and his super-visory role in the PR Internship Program, having placed many graduate students in esteemed positions nationally and internationally. He was Distinguished Guest Lecturer of Educational PR at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, as well as Invited Alumnus of Educational PR at the University of Iowa at the Institute for School Executives. Other administrative experiences, but by far only a sampling, included acting chairperson at Purdue University (Fort Wayne campus, Ind.), department head-secondary at Sachem Independent School District (Long Island, New York) where he served as the faculty advisor to the school/community radio station, school newspaper and the coordi-nator of the humanities program.

Selected associations to which he belonged during his lifetime and served in various capacities include Southern Illinois Writers Guild (SIWG), Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, American Association of School Administrators, Texas School Public Relations Association, National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) and National Community Education Association.

Awards received include American Association of School Administrators (AASA) for Serving with Distinction and Dedication as Editor of The AASA Professor from 1979 to 1995 in "Broadening the Professional Perspectives of Professors of Educational Administration and University Adjunct Faculty;" Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation for eight years of service as Editor-in-Chief of Educational Administration Abstracts by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA); Outstanding Professional Service NSPRA for Work as chairperson of the College PR Course Committee; Graduation with Outstanding Scholarship/Master of Science Degree; Letter of Congratulation from Dean of Graduate College/University of Iowa for 4.0 Ph.D. Academic Record; among other distinguished honors. He chaired the dissertation committees of more than 60 students, half of whom were in the field of public relations.

Dr. Philip West was a self-made man. He was a proud veteran of the military serving in the U.S. Navy in communications during the Korean War. Loved immensely by his family and friends, Phil was a boisterous man of heroic character and extraordinary genius; he will be missed by all. There will not be another of his caliber. Hats off to an honorable, forthright man.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, in Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin, with Monsignor Ken Schaefer officiating. After funeral services, military honors will be performed by Herrin's American Legion and VFW Posts with assistance from the U.S. National Guard. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Interment will be at Herrin City Cemetery at a later date.

For those who prefer, memorials may be made to . Envelopes will be available and accepted at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home; 201 S 13th Street; Herrin, IL 62948.

For more information, or to sign the memorial guest register, visit

Published in The Southern Illinoisan on Jan. 3, 2014
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