Neil Robert West
April 25, 1933-January 20, 2019Neil West was born on April 25, 1933, the sixth of the seven children born to Glenn and Edith West. He was raised on the family farm, which would eventually be designated a Centennial Farm when he took over the operation from his dad. He had a country childhood, working on the farm and going to country school. To hear him tell it, he walked uphill both going to and coming from school . . . and it was always raining or snowing.
He was proud to serve Leroy Township for 52 years, with over 50 years as Township Supervisor. He saw an incredible amount of change over the years, but kept the same way of treating people with respect whenever there were issues. Neil also held positions in the Michigan Township Association, including Treasurer, Secretary, First Vice President then President. He had the opportunity to work with many state legislators and governors through these positions.
Neil was a gifted athlete in high school, but he was especially good at baseball. He was drafted into the Army in 1955 and pitched for his team at Fort Carson. His manager at that time was Billy Martin, who later became the manager of the Yankees. While in the Army, Neil came to the attention of a pro scout who offered him a chance to play in the Yankees’ farm system. In those days, players didn’t command the salaries like today, so he opted to return to the family farm. He never regretted that decision.
Neil loved life. He loved people, his work, a good round of golf (and even a bad round of golf with good friends) and any kind of sporting event. He loved to laugh and enjoyed a good prank, both those played on him and playing them on others. But most of all, he loved his family: his wife, his kids (and kids-in-law), his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren and all of his extended family. He never met a stranger.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Ruth (Crandall), daughter Karen (Timothy) Smith, son Kevin (Michael) West, granddaughter Ashleigh (Michael) Kunzelman, and great-grandchildren Mason, Caden and Zoey. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Leroy Township, designated to the Steven and Ruth Simmons Memorial Park, 1685 M-52, Webberville, MI 48892. That park also houses the Neil West Pavilion. The family would also like to extend their thanks to those at the Sparrow Cardiac Critical Care Unit for their kindness and care for Neil.
A memorial service was being held Saturday, January 26th at 11:00 am. with visitation at 10:00 am at the Webberville United Methodist Church.