Cover photo for Edith Marian West's Obituary
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1926 Edith 2016

Edith Marian West

November 28, 1926 — April 24, 2016

EDITH MARIAN WEST Edith Marian West was born November 28, 1926 to Ernest Powell and Lollabelle DeMoss in Independence, MO. She passed away peacefully and painlessly surrounded by family and loved ones on April 24, 2016. Marian's family lived in Odessa, MO until relocating to Cortez, Colorado in 1936. Prior to graduating from Montezuma Cortez High School in 1943 at the age of 16, Marian worked for a local attorney. While in high school she met the love of her life, Milton Kemper West. The two of them were married in 1944 and devoted their lives to raising three daughters while making many cherished family memories in both Cortez and Craig, CO. In 1963 Union Carbide, Kemper's employer, transferred him and the family from Craig, CO to King City, CA. There Marian went to work as a bookkeeper for both Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America. She was later employed by Santa Lucia Elementary School in King City as secretary until her retirement in 1978. Marian enjoyed conquering the daily newspaper's crossword puzzle, winning at cribbage, camping, fishing(usually catching the first and biggest fish while Kemper busied himself baiting her hooks and retrieving her fish), spending time with family and friends and staying active in her church. Crocheting was also a favorite pass time. Their home was lovingly filled with afghans, crocheted flowerpot covers, embroidered linen items and other needlework. She even surprised her granddaughters with some hand-crocheted bikinis for their sock monkeys! Kemper and Marian would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2004, the year Kemper passed away. Following his passing at the end of a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease, Marian returned to Cortez, CO in 2005 to be with her daughter Donna Pharo, Donna's husband Brent, her three sisters and a host of family and friends. During the years that followed Marian and her three sisters could be seen all over town having their weekly "Sister's Lunch," and strolling in and out of local shops. Marian and her sisters set wonderful examples of aging gracefully as strong women who enjoyed life to the fullest and cherished their families. Marian didn't flaunt her faith in God or talk much about it. She just lived it, day by day, faithfully expecting the very best out of the days she was given. When asked how she was doing, she would always respond with an enthusiastic "fine and dandy!" She said it was her faith in God that strengthened and sustained her during the 16 years she lovingly cared for Kemper as he struggled with Alzheimer's disease. In the fall of 2007 Marian decided to move into Madison House Assisted Living Facility. She will be fondly remembered by the staff and residents for her sense of humor, her ready smile, her passion for hugs, marathon games of "Hand and Foot" Canasta and a favorite song that she sang to her loved ones, "I Love You, a Bushel and a Peck." If you told Marian you loved her, you would be instantly serenaded with that song. Marian remained active and ready for adventures which included 17 reunions with her three daughters in Wyoming's Grand Tetons; the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu, Maui and Kauai; Fresno, Redding and Grass Valley, CA; Sedona, AZ; and Telluride and Cortez, CO. In 1982 she and her sister Pat drove to the Knoxville World's Fair, sleeping in the back of a pickup along the way. Marian will always be remembered as the family matriarch, which to her meant "big shot." She knew that the way to everyone's heart was with a batch of her famous snickerdoodle cookies and a bowl of homemade ice cream. Marian was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest & Lollabelle Powell; her husband, Kemper; her older sisters, Nanalee "Nancy" Winegar, Martha "Marty" Dyer, and her brothers-in-law, Walter Winegar, Guy Dyer and Stanton Englehart and her granddaughter, Stacy Renee Pharo. She is survived by her three daughters, Carol (Herbert) Miyata of Mililani, HI, Linda (Pedro) Garcia of Fresno, CA, Donna (Brent) Pharo of Cortez, CO; her sister, Patsy "Pat" Englehart of Durango, CO; six grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 4 great, great- grandchildren. A celebration of Marian's life will be held on Saturday, May 28 at 1:30 p.m. at Madison House Assisted Living 120 South Madison Street in Cortez, CO. A reception in her honor will follow at Madison House immediately after the service. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Madison House Assisted Living Facility, 120 South Madison St., Cortez, CO 81321 or Hospice of Montezuma, PO Drawer 740, Cortez, CO 81321.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Starts at 1:30pm (Mountain time)

Madison House Assisted Living Facility

120 S. Madison Street, Cortez, CO 81321

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