On June 18, 2020, Robert “Bob” West, of East Hanover, passed away peacefully at the age of 93.
Bob was born to parents Ellen (Helen) Natalia (Bloomquist) and John Adams West. He grew up in Newark in the house that his father, a carpenter and immigrant from Scotland, built. The youngest of three, he was affectionately referred to as “Peewee” as a child.
Bob is survived by his 7 children: Nancy (West) and Anton Steiner, Susan (West) and Douglas Howering, Diane (West) and James Schilling, Cathy (West) and James Semanski, Ingrid (West) and Brent Mullane, David West and Diane, Heidi (West) and Richard Lee; brother-in-law Max Elsasser; sister-in-law Carol (Hornby) West; nieces Barbara (Townley) McShane, Kyle Mooney, April (Elsasser) Johnson; nephews Walter Townley, Karl Mooney, Kevin Mooney, and Tim Elsasser, and was ‘Papa’ to 13 grandchildren: Kristen, Lisa, Rachel, Kellie, Matthew, Robert, Brian, Aaron, Rebecca, Nicholas, Lauren, Emma, and Henry, as well as 6 great grandchildren: Reagan, Quinn, Emersyn, Lucas, Sean, and Lucy.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Elizabeth ‘Betty’ (Immele), his mother and father, sister Eleanor (West) Townley, brother John William, sisters-in-law, Gerda (Immele) Mooney, Ruth (Immele) Elsasser, and grandson, Michael B. West.
Bob graduated early from Weequahic High School at age 17 so he could enlist in the Navy during WW II. He completed boot camp in Sampson, NY and served as a Seaman 2nd Class through June 1946 receiving the American Theater and Victory Medals with an Honorable Discharge. Following his service, Bob completed an apprenticeship as a journeyman on the GI bill and worked as a Union carpenter on many bridges and buildings in New York and New Jersey.
In the years following his marriage to Betty, they moved their growing family from Irvington to East Hanover. Bob segued into a career in sales, working for Heinz Corporation, Carnrick Laboratories, Doyle Pharmaceutical then Purdue Frederick (now Purdue Pharma). He finished his career working with Food Enterprises Corp and Proctor and Gamble before retiring.
Bob had great faith in God, loved and served his country as well as his community. He became a member of Kitchell Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1965, was a member of the American Legion Post #421, and a Free Mason with Madison Masonic Lodge #93. Bob served more than 30 years as a volunteer with the East Hanover First Aid Squad, filling positions as both President and Captain and also with the NJ State First Aid Council. The family can still recall the tone of the plectron going off all hours of the day/night and their dad running out to an emergency call.
Bob taught his family to work hard, never give up, and to ‘watch our pennies’- thriftiness was a virtue! He loved word puzzles, playing Mexican Train, playing the card game Golf, listening to music, reading ‘Our Town’ and sharing the jokes. Bob had an affinity for dogs, birds and wildlife. He collected Hess trucks and mugs from too-many-to-count ‘wet downs’ from First Aid Squads and Fire Departments. Bob was a “keeper of the records” for all important family events: births, deaths, anniversaries, graduations, even the date of his own engagement, February 4, 1951. He was a master of conversation and loved to tell anyone and everyone about his family.
In their early married life, Bob and Betty loved to dance, play cards, and socialize with friends and family. Dad, we hope you are dancing with mom again, laughing and having a ball. Our parents created a big, loving, amazing family – and we have been so blessed to have had them both as an example on how to live our lives. We loved them, miss them every day, and will always remember our dad’s mantra: Family Is Everything.
A memorial celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date. Those wishing to honor him may make a donation in his name to the East Hanover EMS, P.O. Box 42, East Hanover, N.J. 07936.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert H. West, please visit our floral store.
East Hanover EMS, P.O. Box 42, East Hanover, N.J. 07936
PO BOX 42, East Hanover NJ 07936