West, Frank T.
Frank T. West was taken to be with the Lord early Saturday morning, February 2, 2019. He was born July 20, 1924 in Hopkinsville, Ky. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert Cary West and Clyde Carroll West, three brothers, Henry Thomas West, Robert Carroll West, and Walter Preston West and a sister, Dorothy Deitrick West.
He is survived by his wife of over 68 years, Evelyn Graves West, his daughters, Karen West Bell and her husband Rodney, Elaine West-Watson and her husband, Jeffrey, Margaret Penix, and Patricia Davis. He is also survived by eleven grandchildren, Joshua Bell and wife, Asheley, Alex Penix and wife Heather, William Penix, Claire Penix, Lindsay Davis, Brian Davis, Amelia West-Watson, Noel Land and husband Ryan, and Kyle Watson and his wife, Katelyn. Also surviving him are five great-grandchildren, Emerson Harper Bell, Maddox Parker Bell, Noah Parker Penix, Willow Grace Land, and Elijah Dean Land.
As a young man Frank served on the volunteer fire department in Hopkinsville, Ky. He was a graduate of naval programs at Berea College, Miami University, Princeton University, and Columbia University. He attended George Williams College in Chicago and graduated from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville with bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
He proudly served his country in the Navy from 1943-1946, earning the rank of LT Jg. He participated in Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands in July 1946 and was exposed to nuclear radiation during that operation and, as a result, is an Atomic Bomb Veteran. He was recalled to service in 1951 and served until 1953, being promoted to rank of LT. He was a member of the Naval Reserve from 1961-1966.
Frank moved his young family to Blacksburg in 1954 and established the first industrial arts department in Montgomery County at Blacksburg High School. He taught Industrial Arts and Vocational Drafting as well as being active in school life for 35 years before retiring in 1989. He was a member of the Virginia Education Association, the National Education Association, and Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity. He sponsored the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) at BHS from 1973-1989 and was named to the Virginia VICA Hall of Honor.
After retiring, he and Evelyn joined the local craft circuit as Chips and Stitches traveling to craft fairs throughout Virginia and North Carolina from 1990-2002.
He was an active member of Blacksburg United Methodist Church, serving on various boards and committees, supervising and coordinating the Church Bus Ministry, and coordinating and serving, along with his wife, Evelyn, the usher teams for the early service from 1961-2015.
The family will receive visitors at McCoy Funeral Home on Tuesday, February 5 from 6:00-8:00 PM. Funeral services will be conducted by Rev. Ralph Rowley at Blacksburg United Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 6 at 11:00 AM with burial at Roselawn Memorial Garden in Christiansburg following. Friends and family are invited to a reception in the Whisner Building of the Blacksburg United Methodist Church after the graveside service.
Memorials in Frank’s honor may be made, in lieu of flowers, to Blacksburg United Methodist Church. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.