FORT EDWARD — Gerald V. “Gerry” West, 95, passed away Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, at Glens Falls Hospital.
Gerry was born Oct. 29, 1919, in Glens Falls, the son of Clarence and Clara West of Fort Ann.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in September 1940. In the 16 years and nine months in the Corps, he saw combat in the Pacific at Tulagi, Guadalcanal and New Georgia. He was chosen and trained as a demolition expert in the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, also known as Edson’s Raiders. Their battle for “Edson’s Ridge” was chronicled in the book “Edson’s Raiders” by Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret.). Gerry also served and fought in Korea. He then served four years and nine months in the U.S. Army, mostly at Fort Richardson, Alaska, and retired as a captain in March 1962.
He was a life member and past president of the Edson’s Raiders Association, life member of Memorial Det. 2, Marine Corps League, life member of the Reserve Officers Association and life member of Retired Officers Association.
Upon retiring from military service, he worked for Sears Roebuck and Co. for 21 years, retiring in March 1983. He worked the next 26 years as a security guard, primarily for CNA. He officially retired from his working years outside the home at age 90. He then was caregiver for his wife, Laula, and continued to try to keep up maintenance on their home. Everyone marveled at his weekly mowing of their spacious, five-acre front lawn at age 93.
He was predeceased by his son, Ronald V. West, in June 2011; and by his devoted wife of nearly 71 years, Laula W. West, in June 2013.
He is survived by his daughter, MacPherson Frazier and her husband, King, of Argyle; grandsons Christopher MacPherson of South Glens Falls, R.B. West of Texas and Chad West; five great-grandchildren; his daughter in-law, Eileen West of Saratoga Springs; his brother in-law, Jim Palace and his wife, Alberta, of New Jersey; closest family friend, Ione Mulford of South Glens Falls; and Tim and Beth Hathaway, who lovingly adopted his and Laula’s little dog, Binky, and were always there for Gerry and Laula.
Our family wishes to thank the staff of Glens Falls Hospital CCU, especially Amy and Cathy, who made Gerry’s last days and hours comfortable. Thank you also to Dr. J. Mihindu and Dr. Amy Hogan for their excellent care and concern.
We would also like to thank the devoted team of workers at Fort Hudson Nursing Center who loved and cared for Dad. He was not only a resident there, he considered it “home.” From his “buddy” Amanda Waite, who made sure he could watch his Braves baseball and never tired when it came to his or my needs or requests, to all the caring professionals who made the quality of his daily life so much better in his last 13 months. To the A Wing staff and everyone who loved him and took such good care of him — thank you. I know he is very much missed but lived his life right to the end with dignity and independence and a sharp mind that was not only extremely rare for his age but admired by everyone who knew him.
At Gerry’s request, there will be no calling hours.
Interment will be at a later date in the spring at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery with the full military honors Gerry earned. You will continue to be loved by all those who knew and admired you.
Semper Fi, Dad.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Gerry’s memory may be made to Operation Adopt A Soldier Inc., 4281 Route 50, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866; or USMC Toys for Tots Memorial Detachment No. 2, 3033 State Route 4, Hudson Falls, NY 12839.
Arrangements are under the care of M.B. Kilmer Funeral Home, 82 Broadway Fort Edward, NY 12828.