Vernon Andrew West

Born: February 06, 1941

Died: September 22, 2010


If anyone ever cared, really cared for someone else it would have to be Vernon Andrew West. He was a warm hearted and well liked individual, and these wonderful traits came easily to him because he was such a sociable and amiable person, someone who was always making certain that those around him had whatever they needed. Vern was a talkative person who was tactful at all times but typically said what he meant.

Vern was born on February 6, 1941 in Good Samaritan Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio. He was the son of Floyd and Lucille West (both deceased), and they raised Vern in Castalia, Ohio. During his childhood he learned to be reliable and respectful. Vern was an obedient child who wanted to win the favor of others. He found it easy to show sympathy and to perform kind acts for others. These admirable qualities would become a part of Vern's personality throughout his life.

Though Vern was frequently the one to initiate games and activities with his family, he was also quite often the family member who took the role of referee. Vern was a peace-maker with an ability to resolve all sorts of family conflicts. In fact, Vern worked conscientiously to keep those typical family spats at bay. Vern was raised with one sibling. He had a younger brother, Dan (deceased). Vern and his brother had the typical rivalries while growing up, but they cared deeply for one another.

As someone who reveled in the sheer joy of his experiences, Vern was always enthusiastic about new adventures. Although he had an exacting nature, Vern was always tactful. One thing Vern will certainly be remembered for is that, when he got up in the mornings, he was ready and raring to go. As a young boy, Vern had a number of interests and was an active child. Vern took part in basketball, baseball, and tennis.

For Vern, the school routines were never a problem although he generally preferred variety to structure. He seemed to be able to start a project and work right through to its completion. And he was able to do it quickly and efficiently. Vern was also adept at details. Vern was very observant and was generally quick at picking up new things. He graduated from Margaretta High School in 1959.

College can be a challenge, but Vern appeared to be well equipped to succeed. He had a knack for staying focused and on track no matter what was going on around him. Vern had the ability to work undisturbed through all of the constant interruptions that are a regular part of college life. Vern enjoyed using the skills he'd already learned and applying them to new courses. He knew the facts and rarely made factual errors. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in English and Social Studies.

There was one thing that all of Vern's friends knew and will still remember, and that is that he was a talker. He could pretty much talk to anybody about anything. This quality is one of the primary reasons that Vern was such a popular person throughout his life. But Vern was also dependable, loyal and trustworthy. Vern was the kind of person who simply radiated good fellowship. While he maintained personal standards and his own personal values, Vern was very accepting of others. With a distinct skill for working things out, Vern was often the person who would organize events. In fact, Vern was fairly comfortable playing the role of “host” for just about any occasion. When Vern made friends, he made true and lasting friendships. While growing up, one of his best friends was Larry Weidenheft. Later in life, he became friends with Ed McPeek and Joe Metallo.

Vern was a faithful and loving person. Some would even call him sentimental and a romantic at heart. His kindness and consideration radiated an aura of warmth to those around him. Vern cared for what others thought and carried that into his marriage. On August 23, 1969 Vern married Dianne Kathleen Alcock at First United Methodist Church of Adrian, Michigan. Compassionate and devoted, Vern worked hard to make his new life partner happy.

Harmony was important to Vern and he made every effort to maintain it with his family. Vern was blessed with one child, a son, Jeremy. Vern was always conscious of the feelings others had. He was reasonable and understanding. As a result, Vern was quick to solve disputes and did so without much fuss. His secret of success in this area was simple: Vern would listen before he would act.

Taking his work seriously came naturally to Vern, and he expected the same from those around him. Vern was a good team player, someone who was born to cooperate with others. He was what some would call a “people person” and it was demonstrated in his good communication skills. Vern was a steady worker, one who was realistic about schedules. The kind of details that would give family members and work colleagues fits were situations that Vern handled well. He could understand the details without getting lost in the broad “big picture.” His primary occupation was as a teacher. He was employed for 18 years in Lenawee County, Michigan and 19 years in Clark County, Nevada. He also worked as a Sector Coordinator for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta (kayaking and canoeing), was an Usher Supervisor at Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV from 1982-2002, and was the Guest Services Manager at the Orleans Arena from 2002-2006. He brought harmony to his work environment, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done, while always maintaining respect for his colleagues.

A methodical man, Vern enjoyed spending time working on his various hobbies. He had no problem following all of the steps and instructions on a given project and was proud of the fact that he could have something to show for his efforts. His favorite pursuits were playing pool.

Vern was one of those people who took pride in constantly putting forth his best effort. Nowhere was that more visible than in sports. Vern was always enthusiastic and a great team player. In high school, Vern played tennis and basketball. In his college years, Vern continued to stay active by playing intramural tennis and basketball. Recreational sports included slow-pitch softball and tennis. Vern also liked being a sports fan and enjoyed following his favorite teams whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list was Ohio State Buckeyes football.

His keen interest in things that affected the lives of other people led Vern to become actively involved in professional and community organizations. Because he was outgoing and worked well with others, Vern did his fair share of volunteer work. And he wouldn’t shy away from taking the lead on committees or events, either. He was a born list maker and was great at creating and sticking to schedules. Throughout his later years, Vern was an assistant coach of his son's competitive soccer team.

A generous and compassionate man, Vern accomplished much during his lifetime. Though he never set out to gain individual recognition, Vern was recognized and given awards for his many and varied efforts throughout his life. Some of his most prestigious awards included coaching the Madison High School baseball team to the State Semi-Finals in 1974 and receiving an Excellence in Education award in 1986.

Not only did Vern enjoy traveling, but he also seemed to enjoy planning all of those trips and vacations. He was a facilitator who could easily make up a near perfect schedule of all of the things to do and see. He rarely tired of going back and revisiting his favorite places. Favorite vacations included Hana, Maui; Crystal Pier; and a trip to England and Ireland.

Vern was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. His favorite was Pal, a collie.

Since it was easy for Vern to meet and get to know new people, he quickly made friends, even in retirement. Once he met those new friends, he loved sharing stories and talking about the good old days. Since he was practical and cost effective, Vern was ready when that day to retire finally came in 2001. In retirement, he continued to work in Las Vegas, Nevada. Even in retirement, Vern stayed in touch with his old friends and made plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in the community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities that retirement offered him.

Vern passed away on September 22, 2010 at Nathan Adelson Hospice, after fighting a brave battle for over four years against Multiple Myeloma. He is survived by his wife, Dianne and his son, Jeremy. Services were held at Palm Mortuary, King David Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vern was a fantastic conversationalist who could engage just about anyone in a discussion. And whenever he said something, he meant it. Vern was a down to earth person, outgoing and gregarious. He was without question the type of person who enjoyed experiencing things first hand. He was practical and sensible, but what friends and family will remember him for most is the fact that he was so understanding and kind. Everyone whose life he touched will miss Vernon Andrew West.