John's Story

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John B. West, 96, died on Sept. 28, 2017 at his home at Lake Forest in Plattsburgh, N.Y. He was born on June 5, 1921, the youngest of William and Julia Boulerice West's 14 children, and was raised in Chazy, N.Y. He graduated from Chazy Central Rural School in June 1941 and attended SUNY Delhi where he received an associate degree in building construction. In 1942, he enlisted in the US Navy serving in the Construction Battalion (Sea-Bees) until his discharge in 1945.
John married Mary "Peg" Slack of Speculator in 1942. They raised their seven children in Chazy. She predeceased him on June 2, 2000.
He married Madeline Gagnon of Chazy in 2001.
John was a mason. He served as president of Local 92 Bricklayers, Masons & Plasterers Union, and worked on construction projects throughout Clinton County. In 1969, he was appointed Executive Director of the Clinton County Association for Retarded Children. John was active on the Chazy Youth Commission, Men's Club and Chamber of Commerce. He served on the Chazy Town Board, Clinton County Boy Scout Council, Clinton Community College Board of Trustees, and as commander of the Plattsburgh VFW and Chazy American Legion Post 769.
He became masonry instructor at Dutchess County BOCES in 1972. He received his BS in Vocational Education from SUNY Oswego in 1977. John and Peg made many lifelong friends while living in Hyde Park, N.Y. John retired from teaching in 1983 and he and Peg eventually moved to Plattsburgh to be closer to family.
John was predeceased by his seven brothers and six sisters; his first wife, Peg; his second wife, Madeline; a son-in-law, John Webb Leonard; and a grandson, Jeffrey Mayo.
He is survived by his seven children, Kate West (Alan McKnight), Mary Leonard, Linda Mayo, Paul West (Elizabeth), Janet Clerkin (Kevin), Jane Minotti (Sean), and Pamela Gilbert (Brad). Also surviving are 13 grandchildren, Jonathan and James Mayo, Sarah West, Amy Martin, John, Peter and Andrew Minotti, Brendan, Sean and Mary Katherine Clerkin, William, Evan and Brenna Gilbert; two great-grandchildren, Jedidiah Martin and Bryson Minotti; and numerous generations of beloved nieces and nephews. John also leaves behind his dear friends from the Plattsburgh senior exercise coffee club, the Lake Forest Senior Community, Heritage Heights neighborhood, and his former student, Bob Koch.
John loved life and people. He restored old Studebakers, camped with Peg across the US and at their "Retreat" in Bloomville, and made ash baskets. He enjoyed being surrounded by family and friends, his Sunday visits with the relatives, and times spent with Madeline's family.
John was inspired by his father, who was Master Carpenter for inventor philanthropist William H. Miner. Through his teaching and loving guidance, John's skilled craftsmanship became a legacy passed on to his family members and students.
Calling hours will be Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 4-7 at the R.W. Walker Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Sacred Heart Church, Chazy. After a graveside service, friends and relatives are invited to gather at the Chazy American Legion Hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities, 43 Durkee St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901or Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675.
To share a photo, story, or condolence with John's family, please visit www.rwwalkerfh.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted into the care of the R.W. Walker Funeral Home, 69 Court Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.
Published on October 2, 2017
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