Jack Howard West Sr. passed away at his home in Heber Springs, AR on March 10, 2021. He was 81 years old.
Jack was born in Burlington, NJ to Howard and Evelyn (Force) West on July 16, 1939. He was the youngest of seven children.
Jack’s first job was driving a tractor at an apple and peach orchard. From there he got into road construction. He said he really liked when he got to use the backhoe. That love for tractors and other equipment stayed with him his whole life.
He was united in marriage to Rosemary Phillips on Jan. 23, 1960. They were married in Berlin, NJ. They made their home in a few different towns in NJ, but their favorite was their house that they had in Clementon, NJ. They would often have large holiday and birthday celebrations there with extended family and friends while living there. Those were some of the things that were missed the most once they moved.
Jack served in the US Army from 1962 through 1964.
In 1977 Jack and Rosemary decided it was time for a change and in August, 1977 they moved the family to Braham, MN. Soon after that three of Jack’s brothers also moved to MN. Jack and Rosemary lived in a few different places after moving to Braham, but all of them were in Isanti County. They settled in a place in the Bradford area.
After moving to MN, Jack switched professions from road construction and became a welder. His primary job was with Arrow Tank in Cambridge, MN. He worked there until he retired.
In the late ’80s Jack and Rosemary decided that they had enough of MN winters, and they started thinking about moving someplace warmer. Sadly, on May 20, 1988 they lost their daughter Kathy due to a car accident. That caused them to want to stay closer to family and they put that decision on hold for several years. Finally, in 2005 they did move to Heber Springs, AR.
Jack had an inquisitive mind and he loved reading books on all types of subjects. Sometimes the odder the better. That led to some interesting conversations! He loved fishing. When he lived in NJ crabbing and clamming were also favorite hobbies.
He could fix almost anything, and if he didn’t know how to fix it, he would usually be able to find a book that would tell him how to do it. He loved to keep busy. That included trying his hand at wood carving and a lot of putzing around in the yard.
When they moved to AR their property had a lot of very large rocks everywhere. Jack would love spending time on his tractor moving them to create more grassy areas as well as doing other things to make the yard look nicer. Also, since their house did not have a basement, he built a tornado shelter so that mom felt safer.
On Jan. 24, 2015, after 55 years of marriage Rosemary passed away. After that we tried to convince dad to move back “up north” but he really did not want anything to do with the MN winters.
Jack was proceeded in death by his daughter Kathy, his wife Rosemary and five of his siblings: Betty, Robert, Howard Jr., Richard and Donald as well as his parents.
Jack is survived by his children, Carolyn O’Brien of MN, Jack (Melinda) West Jr. of ND and Ashlee West of AR. Jack has six grandchildren, Krissy O’Brien, Katie O’Brien, Dan (Adrienne) O’Brien, Bailee West, Hannah West and Emma West. He is also survived by his sister Jane (Wesley) Anderson of Pennsauken, NJ.