Tama County Iowa Obituaries

Jesse West is Dead at Age 78

1961 Obit

Jesse Clarence West, 78, retired laborer, died at 6 o'clock Sunday evening, August 20, 1961, in his ground floor apartment in the Earl Spooner building on 4th street, next to the Bohemian Mutual Insurance office. Death was due to cancer of the lungs. He had been ailing for four years and made 5 trips to University Hospitals in Iowa City. On one trip he stayed 6 days in the hospital. On the other trips he returned home the same day.

Jesse Clarence West, son of Isaac and Hannah Stewart West, was born October 10, 1882, on a farm east of Toledo, Iowa. He attended the Otter Creek school near his farm home. In 1901 the West family went to Missouri and Jesse began working in the oil fields, first in Kansas, then in Oklahoma and Texas.

He was laying an oil pipe line at Independence, Kansas, when he met Miss Grace Ellen Hutchison who was living with her uncle and aunt who ran a boarding house. Mr. West stayed at the boarding house. The young couple were married March 7, 1914 at Independence, Kan.

Following the marriage, Mr. West worked in Oklahoma and Texas, then returned to Toledo, Ia., in November 1914. He spent 2 years in Toledo, working at odd jobs, then returned to Sycamore, Kan., where he worked 4 years, first in a brick yard and then for the Sinclair Oil Company. Then he came back to Toledo and worked for the Electric Light and Power Co., and later was employed as a far laborer by farmers in this area. He also had his own team of horses and dug basements, plowed gardens and did grading work for the highways.

During World War II he and his team were employed at the wood preserving plant in Tama.

Mr. West and his family moved to Tama in 1929. For 21 years they rented the house owned by Mrs. R.H. Walen at 701 Beautiful street. Fourteen years ago Mr. West sold his team and he retired the following year. Three years ago he and his wife moved to the business district and took an apartment in the Soleman Annex. Later they lived on the 3rd floor at the Clifton hotel for 15 months. Finding it difficult to climb the stairs because of their advanced age, they moved to the ground floor apartment in the Spooner building on 4th street last September.

Surviving are the wife, three daughters, Mrs. James (Velma) Chamra east of Toledo, Mrs. Violet Kubik in Arizona, and Mrs. Rene (Mervin) VanTomme of Montezuma, and a son Robert of Chicago; ten grandchildren, two great grandchildren. (Next line unreadable).

Preceding him in death were a son and a daughter in infancy. Another girl aged 3 ½ years, and two brothers and a sister.

Funeral service Wednesday. Funeral services for Mr. West was held at 2o'clock Wednesday afternoon, August 23, 1961, at the Harrison Funeral Home with the Rev. Paul DeVos, pastor of the Tama Baptist church in charge. James Black was the soloist, and Mrs. Lloyd Strine played the piano accompaniment. Bearers were Jack Spooner, P.W. Higginbotham, Tom Davis, Paul Buwalda, Edison Dupre, and James Blazek. Interment was in Hayes cemetery, in the area east of Toledo where he was reared.

Contributed by: Karon Howatt Mazie

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