David Earl West
David Earl West, 96 passed away peacefully at Linda Manor surrounded by family on Monday, May 10, 2021. David was born September 20, 1924 at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, and was the son of David P. West and Grace A. (Strong) West. David was raised with his three siblings on Mountain Street in the village of Haydenville. As a boy, he delivered newspapers throughout the village, was a member of the Pro Brush Boy Scout Troop, and attended Sunday School at the Haydenville Congregational Church where he sang in the choir. After graduating from Williamsburg High School, he served in the “Black Panther” 66th Division of the Infantry during World War II. He was selected as a member of the Division Artillery a cappella Chorus and entertained fellow soldiers in England and France.
In 1950, he married Nancy E. Paul, bought land in Williamsburg, and built the home where he and Nancy raised their three daughters and spent 70 wonderful years together. In 1962, Dave opened the West Clothing Center in Florence, a business he owned and operated for over 25 years. He was proud to provide quality products and friendly service and truly enjoyed working with his customers. In 1967, he purchased the three-story building at the corner of North Main and North Maple Streets in Florence that would house his store until 1986. His “Go West” sign became a landmark in the center of Florence. Dave was a proud veteran. He filled a need in the community and became an ex officio social worker for fellow veterans transitioning from veteran’s hospital care when he created rooms to rent on the floors above his store. Dave was a very active member and past president of the Florence Civic and Business Association. In 1986, he co-chaired the committee that published the book, “Florence, Massachusetts History 1895-1985.”
Dave was a member of the Williamsburg Historical Society and served as president and co-curator of the Grist Mill Farm Museum that he was instrumental in establishing. Dave was passionate about Williamsburg history this included working to preserve the ancient oak tree and installing a marker to commemorate the first settlers of Williamsburg. His most recent endeavor was creating a committee to publish a book of memories solicited from Williamsburg residents to be part of Williamsburg’s 250th anniversary celebration.
As an active charter member of the Williamsburg Lions Club, Dave was honored with the Melvin Jones Award for dedicated service to his community. He was a 70 year member of Williamsburg Grange #225. He was an active member of the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg for over 70 years, serving on the Board of Directors and the Board of Deacons and sharing his rich bass voice as a choir member. As a member of the Williamsburg High School Alumni Association Dave was very active in planning the annual Burgy High Reunions; he was also active in the Burgy High Travel Club.
Dave loved classic cars and was happiest when tootling around Williamsburg and Florence in his 1940 Buick Special Eight. He enjoyed traveling, singing, dancing and visiting with family and friends. He could often be found chatting with people in Florence and Williamsburg, leading his family in a rousing sing-a-long, and writing letters and memoirs. He especially enjoyed vacationing at York Beach, Maine with his family.
Dave was blessed with a large and loving family; he will be remembered as a very loving husband, father, grandfather and uncle. He will be deeply missed by his daughters: Lisa West and her husband Thomas West of Hadley, Pamela Watson of Allen, Texas, and Jeana West of Williamsburg; his grandchildren: Lila West of South Hadley, Diana West of Hadley, Timothy Watson and his wife, Megan of Richmond, Virginia, Grace Stanek of Williamsburg and Alyssa Stanek of Williamsburg; and his extended family: sister-in-law Carol Paul of Florida, Jennifer M. West of Northampton, and Richard T. West and his wife, Diane and their children Tristan, Megan and Stephanie West of Hadley. Dave was predeceased by his brothers and sisters-in-law, Vernon (Connie) and Kenneth (Barbara); his sister and brother-in-law Phyllis (Ed) Webb; his brother-in-law, Andrew Paul, his nieces, Natalie Ponusky and Janna Anderson; and nephews, Neil Webb and Tim West. He leaves his nieces: Nancy (Will) Demarais, Linda West Banks, Kenna (Mike) McMurry and nephews: Dick (Lucy) West, Larry (Linda) West, the Reverend Thomas (Becky) West and many grand- and great-grand- nieces and nephews.
Dave’s family would like to thank Afrike, Samantha, and Adrienne for their loving and compassionate in-home care, the staff of All About You, the staff of Colley Dickinson VNA and Hospice Care for their support throughout his journey, and the staff at Linda Manor for their wonderful care. Memorial donations may be made to the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg or the Highland Ambulance Service.
Calling hours for both David and his wife, Nancy (who passed away February 17) will be held on Friday, June 25, 4-7PM at The First Congregational Church of Williamsburg, 4 N Main St, Williamsburg, MA. Their memorial service for both Dave and Nancy will be held on Saturday, June 26 at 2PM in the church. Williamsburg Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.