James W. “Mike” West

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Husband, Father, Veteran and Long-Time State Farm Agent

James Waterbury West of Alpharetta, Georgia, died on November 15, 2015. He was born January 12, 1926 in Newark, NJ and was nicknamed and known throughout his life as Mike. Mike graduated from East Orange High School in 1944 and immediately enlisted in the army with many of his high school friends. He proudly served in the 9th Armored Infantry in Europe during World War II. He was wounded twice in combat, receiving a Purple Heart, and was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor for his actions during the Battle of the Bulge. He was honorably discharged in June of 1946 and attended Upsala College, graduating in 1951. Mike helped lead the baseball pitching staff and was scouted by several professional teams.
After graduation, Mike became Playground Director for the city of East Orange, where so many of the kids whose lives he touched stayed in touch throughout his lifetime. In 1956 he embarked on a career as an agent with State Farm Insurance and was recognized as a perennial all-star and leader throughout a 38 year career. He lived for many years in Livingston, New Jersey and was active as a coach for the Livingston Little League, volunteered with Boy Scout Troop 12, and was a Free Mason in Livingston Lodge #11. Mike married Judith Hall in 1984, and resided in Madison and Beach Haven, New Jersey. They retired to Fort Myers, Florida, enjoying golf and well deserved time off. He spent much of his time providing patient counseling at Lee Memorial Hospital. Mike enjoyed time with his grandchildren swimming, going on Florida excursions, and taking them on golf cart rides. An avid golfer, Mike shot his first Hole-in-One just in time for his 70th birthday. He and Judy traveled extensively together and with friends. In 2004 he moved to Alpharetta, Georgia, and became an active member in Northminster Presbyterian Church. An avid bridge player, he attained Life Master status. Mike spent much of his retirement years attending lecture series on the World Wars, 20th century history, and Bible study. He will be remembered as a kind, loving, and genuine man, husband, father, and grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Allen and Ella West; his brother, Allen; his sister, Betty; his son, Brian; and his grandson, Ryan West. Mike is survived by his wife, Judith; his children, Christine West (Christian); Scott West (Anna); Gregory Hall (Christine); and Kimberley Pizzuto (Mark); his daughter-in-law, Patti West; his grandchildren, Jenna, Alexandria, Haley, Mallory, Jacqualyne, Alexandra, and Caitlyn; his sister, Anne; and his brother, Philip. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on December 2 at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2400 Old Alabama Road, Roswell, Georgia. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations may be made to the Salvation Army or the charity of one’s choice.
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