Owen D. West Jr.
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Owen D. West, Jr.9/11/31 ~ 11/27/04  Beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, leader, servant of the Lord, and friend who blessed the lives of literally thousands, Owen Daniel West, Jr. passed away in Salt Lake City, Utah from Cardiac Amyloidosis, a rare bone marrow disorder, on November 27, 2004. Owen was born September 11, 1931 to Owen Daniel West and Eva Pearl Stice in Brooklyn, New York. He married his sweetheart Geraldine on December 23, 1953 in the Idaho Falls temple. They lived modestly, enabling them to share of their abundance with others. Last year, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary marking 50 glorious years of being one in purpose. He has now been reunited with his lovely Geraldine who passed away unexpectedly just 50 days prior to his death. Stalwart and true to the teachings of the Savior, Owen served his family and fellowman all the days of his life. A faithful husband and dedicated father, he loved, supported and sustained his family as he guided them in the path of truth and righteousness. An avid scriptorian, daily scripture study gave him a wealth of knowledge from which to draw. Frequent inspired counsel and encouragement were appreciated by each of his children, who called him their "Hero." He promoted family success with a strong work ethic – saying, "The harder you work, the luckier you'll get!" Owen received his B.S. in Business from the University of Colorado in 1956 and his MBA from the University of Denver in 1963. He was a Vice President with the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago, working as a trust investment advisor from 1963 through 1991. He was instrumental in the development and marketing of the successful Short-Term Asset Management product which provided large consistent profits for the bank. Owen was without guile and was known for his keen discernment. A favorite business Owenism - "It's another day to excel!" He was a 1st lieutenant with the US Army Corps of Engineers; on active duty from 1956 until 1958, and on reserve duty until 1962. Owen was a pillar of strength as a pioneer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Chicago, Illinois area. His visionary leadership helped to build not only churches, stakes, welfare farms and the Chicago Temple, but also helped to develop a strong base of church leadership that will carry on the Lord's work in the Chicago area. Owen has served in various capacities in the church for over 50 years, including many years as a tenor in ward, stake and temple choirs. Most recently, Owen's callings have included: Sealer in the Chicago Illinois Temple; North America Central Family History Advisor, Chicago Illinois Temple Presidency, Utah Ogden Mission President 1991-1994, Schaumburg Illinois Stake President, 10 years; Counselor in Wilmette Illinois Stake Presidency, four years, Bishop of Northwest 1st Ward, six years; Chicago Illinois Temple Committee Member; Missionary in the Northwestern States Mission. Always a missionary, Owen used every opportunity to share the gospel message of hope and his love for the Savior. From hospital corridors to the grocery store, his testimony of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ was boldly proclaimed to one and all. His enthusiasm for missionary and family history work was contagious. Pass-along and Family Search cards were shared with all. Missionary Owenism – "How are you, President West?" "Never better!" Owen was a life long supporter of the Boy Scouts of America. He always exemplified the scout law, was honest, did good turns and was known for being prepared. As a youth, he embraced scouting as he received the Eagle Scout award, followed by Bronze, Gold & Silver Eagle Palms. He worked at scout camps and continued to share his love of scouting with young men as he served throughout his life as an adult leader. He served as the V.P. of Finance on the executive board of the Northwest Suburban Council. Owen received numerous BSA awards including Woodbadge, the Good Scout Award, and the Silver Beaver.  Owen loved to climb mountains. He was always setting his sights upwards and encouraging others to do the same. He had a wonderful ability to bring out the best in others. While serving as Bishop and Stake President, he took large groups of youth to the tops of the mountains, strengthening testimonies every step of the way.  Faithful, courageous, and true to the end, his optimism and cheerful outlook never wavered. A dutiful and noble servant, Owen leaves behind a loving family: his children - Owen Daniel (Doreen) West III of Arlington Heights, Illinois; Celestia Anne (Doug) Himstreet of Bountiful, Utah; Melinda Ruth (Ken) Baugh of Cupertino, California; and Brian David (Ginny) West of Worthington, Massachusetts; 15 grandchildren and two great-grand-children; brothers, James (Maria) West, Donald (Pat) West and sister Anne West. Funeral Services will be held December 4, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mueller Park Stake Center, 1800 East Mueller Park Road, Bountiful, Utah. Visitation will be held December 3, 2004 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah. Visitation will also be held prior to the funeral from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, in Pleasant Grove, Utah. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Amyloid Research Fund, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, K503, Boston, MA, 02118-2526 (For more information call 617-638-4317). The family wishes to express special thanks for the professional care of Dr. Don Doty, Dr. Dale Renlund and the Heart Failure Team, LDS Hospital's ER, CCU, W7 nursing staff, and also to Dr. Martha Skinner and team of Boston, MA; Dr. Stone, Dr. Waligora, and Dr. Kaminer and their respective staffs of Glenview, IL all who rendered selfless service prolonging his life and enabling him to complete his life story, family histories and to record father's blessings to each of his posterity.

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Published in Deseret News from Dec. 2 to Dec. 3, 2004.
Memories & Condolences
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27 entries
January 1, 2005
Thank you for your prayers and support. We all missed mom and dad this Christmas and New Years but we look forward to being reunited with them in the future.
Owen III
Owen West
December 22, 2004
Dear Celestia and family,
I consider it a great honor to have met both your father and mother. They are at peace together. You, and your family, have the condolences of my entire family.
I know your parents were very proud of you, and your husband.
Muriel and Steve Finkel
Muriel Finkel
December 22, 2004
I was saddened to hear that President West had passed away. However, what a joyous reunion that must have been with Sister West! To be free from the pains of this life and to have each other for eternity, what joy they must have at this time. I'm sure it is a Never Better day. I loved them both so much and learned so many things about life and the gospel of Jesus Christ from them. I will never forget listening to President West try to talk Spanish when he had such a horrible accent, however he never gave up trying. I think that is one thing I learned from him that I will always cherish. It might have been hard or seem overwhelming but he never let me give up trying and was always there to boost my morale. I am grateful for my 18 months spent as a missionary with them and the lifetime that they have touched in me and so many others.

My condolances to the family. I'm sure that you're lives are burdened by their loss. Perhaps knowing that so many of us share your loss will ease your burden.
Patricia Hamblin (Brimhall)
December 16, 2004
It's hard to put into words my feelings about President and Sister West. They were enthusiastic about all of the right things in life. Just their examples in dedication, work ethics, service, and kindness were a lesson for anyone willing to notice. After serving my mission under their leadership my family attended the Chicago Temple for my brother's wedding only to discover that Pres. West was the officiator. His remarks at the wedding were both inciteful and beautifully simple. Their lessons in leadership have guided my business decisions, and have helped me in church responsibilities. They will be sorely missed, but what a blessing that they were without each other for only a short time. God bless his family at this time of mourning. Be rest assured that they are "never better" even now.
David Rogers
December 15, 2004
My sympathies to the West family. What a remarkable privilege it was to work with Owen at Continental Bank. The people in our department used to refer to him as Owen "Never Better" West. He had a way of making those around him feel that there was nothing in the world he would rather be doing than sharing that moment with them. Talk about letting your light so shine...
Dave Wall
December 14, 2004
I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Owen. I had the pleasure of knowing Owen through our involvement as members of the Executive Board of the Northwest Suburban Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The passion for always doing what is right could not have had a better spokesperson than Owen. I had opportunities on many occasions to talk with Owen about what was happening in his life and his face absolutely lit up when discussing his family happenings and Church activities. I also had the pleasure of knowing Owen III while we were scouts.
I offer my condolences and those of my family.
Owen will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched.
Wally Powers
December 13, 2004
Owen was truly a great scout to all and will be missed by many. God Bless him, may he rest in peace.
Bruce Hoffman
December 13, 2004
I was very saddened to read the news in the Church News about Pres. West's passing. He was truly an inspiration to me while I served under him on my mission for most of my two years in Ogden Utah. I was not aware that Sis. West had passed as well, and this came as a shock to me. Both were like a mother and father while serving there. I still think fondly of his quips like "there is no ball but the gosball" and "never better." My condolences to all of their family and know that they both have a special place in my heart.
Don Puhlman
December 12, 2004
Dear Friends and family of Owen D. West, Jr.,
We are gratiful to so many who have expressed their love and sympathy these past few months after losing both Mom and Dad within fifty days of one another. We are grateful to have had such wonderful parents. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. They will be forever cherished.
Celestia Himstreet
Owen & Geraldine's daughter
Celestia Himstreet
December 8, 2004
I grew up down the street from the West's and was a friend of Brian's. My Mom told me of the passing of both parents and I wanted to express my sympathy to the West family. Brian's parents were always kind to me and welcomed me into their home. My thoughts and prayers go out to Brian and his family.
Julie (Anderson)McCulloch
December 7, 2004
President West was not only my Stake President during my entire teenage years but he later served as my mission president and sealed my husband and I in the Chicago Temple. I loved him and his wife dearly and am saddened to hear of their passings. I will forever remember his "Never Better" and the way his voice would quiver when he would feel the spirit. That man was never far from the Spirit. I will always hold both President and Sister West dear to my heart.
Juli Osmun
December 6, 2004
We are very sorry to hear of Owen's passing. We were Owen and Geri's neighbors for over 31 years. They were 2 of the finest people we ever met. Our prayers go out to his family. We are certain that Owen and Geri will be missed
December 5, 2004
President West's kindly manner and gentle leadership made a permanent impression on me as a young man in his stake. He sent me on my mission, and later ably presided over some good friends on theirs. I use President West's wise words still, and have never forgotten from where they came. My family, friends and I thought the world of him and his sweet wife, who always had a huge smile and the kindest words for everyone. What a tremendous couple.
Quin Swallow
December 5, 2004
We were saddened to hear of Owen's passing. We feel blessed to have counted both Owen & Geri as friends and key supporters for many years in the NWSC Scouting Family. It is good to know that the physical suffering for Owen is now over and that he and Geri were only apart for 50 days. We send our prayers and sympathy in memory of two great people that will always be known for the example they set for others. Their Christian spirit and generosity caused them to be leaders for many that will follow that example for years to come. What a great Legacy for their time on this Earth.
Bill & Sharon Fisher
December 5, 2004
Having been away during Thanksgiving, I just now learned of Pres. West's passing. Though sad for those of us he leaves behind - especially for his family and close friends - I am happy that he is free from suffering and has been reunited so soon with his beloved Geri. My sympathy to all his children and grandchildren, and those close to him. I can't put it better than Gina did, and pray that you do indeed feel the comfort of the Spirit at this time.
Karen Knowlton
December 4, 2004
We are sad to learn of President West's passing but are grateful to know that he and Sister West are together again. I (Sharon) will always remember them both with a smile. President West was Stake President for much of my youth and had a great impact on me. I also have fond memories of Sister West serving as nurse at girls camp. Scott also knew him as a youth and became good friends with his son Brian. We are both grateful to President West for giving Scott his first "real" job out of college at Continental Bank. Our prayers are with your wonderful family.
Scott and Sharon (Jensen) Johnson
December 3, 2004
Owen III, Celestia, Melinda, and Brian and family. We love your mom and dad forever! Thank you for the opportunity to see all of you at your mom's services and to see Owen also..can you imagine their reunion
after only 50 days apart? If we think those two had endless energy for teaching the gospel in this life, one can only imagine what is taking place now!

I am thankful for Geraldine's teaching me the gospel and for Owen's baptizing me in 1963-I've had a life of church service and have received daily blessings far more than I deserve. We love all of you and you are in our daily prayers.
John and Marlyn Riter
December 3, 2004
We were very saddened to hear of the passing of President West and earlier of his dear wife, Geri. But we are also happy for their joyous reunion. Our son, Paul who lives in West Jordan, sent us this link and in reading the notice every word is how we remember President West. We loved his Owenisms, too. He was truly a remarkable man and will be greatly missed.

Nolan and Diana Edmunds
Diana Edmunds
December 3, 2004
I am sad to hear that Pres. West passed but happy to hear that he will be reunited with his sweet wife. President West served as my Mission President for one year on my mission. One memory that really stands out to me is the time he came down to one of my stakes and went out with us Trackting. Together, we found many investigators and it was awsome to see how much he truley loved the work and wasn't affraid to get right in there with us. He was truley a great man. I'm thankful for him and the time I was able to spend with him. He will be missed..
Ryan Stagg
December 3, 2004
President and Sister West always made me feel special, I was "never better" than when I worked with them or watched them work. Whether the work was pulling weeds at the old Stake Farm in Northern Illinois, or planning an activity, or listening to words of direction, I always knew he would not lead me astray. He called frequently when I was ill and his words comforted me. My last experience with him was at the funeral home after Sister West passed away. He sat holding my hand for 30 minutes. Very few words were exchanged, he can teach even without talking. I have followed President West for the last 25 years and love the example he set.
Michael Jones
December 3, 2004
I am saddened to hear of President West's passing, but grateful to know of President and Sister West's sweet reunion. I think of them often and am grateful not only for their encouragement from my mission but in all of my endeavors since then.
Michael Ray
December 3, 2004
What a wonderful man who follows his wonderful wife.. I enjoyed reading the obituary and remembering his "Owenisms" such as "Never Better" and I know I heard "Its another day to excel" in the Mission office at least once. I'm sure his enthusiastic spirit continues with his current work above alongside his eternal companion. I can so picture that.
Curtis Bates
December 2, 2004
I got a call last night from, Grant Brown. He let me know of the passing of Pres. West, he went on to tell me that Sister West had passed away several days before. This news saddened me very much. Not only for the loss of one but both of these wonderful people. I will always remember them.
Ralph L. Booth
December 2, 2004
I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Owen. He and Geraldine were wonderful people who touched the lives of many. They are both very much in my thoughts and prayers.
Kathy Juliussen
December 2, 2004
Just got an email from Sam Carpenter regarding President West's passing. My heart goes out to all of you, especially at this time of the year. He was a GREAT man and influenced MANY lives, including mine. He is at peace now with your dear, sweet Mother. May Heavenly Father "put His arms unfailing 'round you" at this time of great loss.

With fondest memories,

Gina Focosi
December 2, 2004
Dear West Family,
We were saddened to see Pres. West's name in the obituaries. He was our temple president in Chicago during the year of 1996 and we have never met a man who was more Christ-like. What a wonderful example to the rest of us he has been, but now he's done his earthly work and has been reunited with his beloved Gerri. We can't be happier for him. We hope you know just how fortunate you have all been to have these two special people in your lives.
We love them, and we miss them.
John and LaNae Taylor
LaNae Taylor
December 2, 2004
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
The Staff of Mueller Funeral Home
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