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West, Rev James E Jr

The Newton Kansan

The Rev. James 'Jim' West Jr.

The Rev. James 'Jim' West Jr., 85, passed away Saturday (April 4, 2009) in Newton.

Jim was born on Oct. 25, 1923, in Higgins Corners, Pa., to James and Hazel West.

He grew up in Boyers, Pa., along with his four brothers, Ray, Richard, Bernard and William.

He enlisted in the Army at the outbreak of World War II. Because he was fluent in German, he was assigned to a special military police unit and was stationed at a secret prisoner of war camp for captured German soldiers in Concordia.

While stationed in Concordia, he met the love of his life, Roberta Cain, who was attending nurse's training in Newton. They were married on Dec. 31, 1943, and were blessed with nearly 63 years of marriage and one daughter, Rita.

Following the war, Jim and Roberta owned several businesses, including a service station in Florence and B & J Furniture in Salina. Jim was active in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and was a charter member of Belmont Boulevard Christian Church in Salina. As a lay minister, he served many small Kansas congregations including Lincoln and Galva.

In 1971, his life direction changed and he began his full-time service in the Christian ministry. He served as associate pastor at Central Christian Church in Lexington, Ky., and Hillside Christian Church in Wichita. In 1981, he was called to be the director of development for Kansas Christian Home in Newton, retiring in 1992.

Jim was a kind and caring man who spent his lifetime helping others. His church and his faith were important to him. He saw the good in people and would not easily give up on anyone, especially young people. He was actively involved with youth programs in his church, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Big Brothers. After retiring, he was a dedicated caregiver to his wife and an advocate for older adults.

He was a member of Hillside Christian Church in Wichita. His hobbies included traveling, gardening, making jelly, spending time at his vacation home in Branson and showing his antique automobiles.

Jim is survived by his daughter, Rita Paustian and husband, Hugh, of Auburn, Wash.; grandson, Cory Paustian of Overland Park; and brothers, Bernard of Florida and William of Pennsylvania.

Visitation with the family will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Downing & Lahey Mortuary East in Wichita.

Memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Hillside Christian Church.

Memorials are suggested to Belmont Boulevard Christian Church, 2508 Belmont Blvd., Salina, KS 67401; Hillside Christian Church, 8330 E. Douglas Ave., Wichita, KS 67206; and Kansas Christian Home, 1035 S.E. Third, Newton, KS 67114.

Tributes may be sent to the family via

Owner of originalHarvey County Genealogical Society
Date6 Apr 2009
Linked toRev James E West, Jr

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