TSGS Cruiser Blog

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Tombstone Thursday - Donald G. West [Dedicated to His Memory]

Donald G. West
Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana
Section D, Lot 103, Grave 4

This is the first tombstone to be shown on this blog. I thought I would start with my younger brother who died of a heart attack at age 47. Donald Gene West never married and stayed home with our Mom when Dad died the day before Don's 21st. birthday until Mom died about 2 years before him. I will dedicate this Tombstone Project to Don... he was very supportive of my genealogical research and when I first started going to courthouses & cemeteries in 1978, Don went with me and often drove. He was really a big help in checking record book indexes and finding tombstones in the cemeteries. We learned a lot together about our ancestors. I have learned so much since Don died that I wished he could see, but I suspect he is doing his best to guide me along my research for our ancestry.

Don West graduated from Evansville Bosse High School and attended University of Southern Indiana & Ivy Tech. He worked for over 20 years for Whirlpool and attended Bible Center Cathedral. He loved music, played the guitar and was in a local band for a while. He owned a camp in Yellow Banks Recreation Center, Selvin, Indiana in northeastern Warrick County. Being an avid history buff, he joined the Vanderburgh County Historical Society which made him an excellent partner with me collecting data for our family history. When Don was about 10 years old he won the Cappy Dick Contest of the newspaper's "Funny Pages" becoming a National Winner. He won a complete set of the World Book encyclopedia & World Craft books complete with a nice wooden case to display them. He had them for about one month when the Evansville Courier & Press came out to the country where we lived (in northeastern Warrick County). He told them that when he grew up he wanted to play the guitar and be in a band like the Beatles. He wanted to go to Europe to visit countries he read about in the encyclopedias of Germany, England & Holland. In the fall of 1999, Don visited these countries. At Christmas time, he was showing us the trip photos and said, "If I die tomorrow, I would die a happy man because I got to fulfill my lifelong dream!" Ten days later, Don died a happy man. Don, rest in peace... we miss you!

Don was about 4.5 years old when I took this photo of him sitting on the back bumper of Dad's Dodge. I was a budding photographer at age 10.
This is a new feature for the TSGS Cruiser. Each Thursday I will post a tombstone with location and anything I can find of interest to write about the deceased or the stone itself.
I stole this feature idea from Brenda Jerome (TSGS member) from her blog http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/ Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog. She calls hers "Tombstone Tuesday" and this was the last edition Tombstone Tuesday - Bostick Child -JGWest


Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG said...

What a nice memorial to your brother, John. Good job!

Chris M. said...

You should put this on www.findagrave.com too