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George West

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WEST, George - Obit Photo.jpg

GEORGE ALLEN WEST SR

August 12, 1932 - December 26, 2023

George Allen West, the third George in a run of four Georges in a row, passed away in his 91st year on the afternoon of December 26, 2023.

He is predeceased by his wife, Lorraine, and son George Jr. His parents, George and Minnie West, and sisters Hazel and Shirley. He is survived by daughter Martine (Gerry), son Joseph (Sonja), and grandsons Paul and Jason. He is also survived by his sister Margaret Hazell of Edmonton.

Dad was born at the old Grace Hospital in Winnipeg and grew up with three older sisters and a single mum. He adored them all. His father was not a constant in his life, but he somehow managed to become an exemplary husband and father to his own family years later. He had many good pals in his young life, including his Kelvin High School football coach and early bosses who kept an eye out for him. He loved sports, including baseball, football, hockey, and track and field.

When Dad left school, his coach, Mr. Welch, referred him to Crane Limited to work in the office and warehouse. After a few years, Dad left for L & H Winder Plumbing, eventually apprenticing under their supervision.

His career with the City of Winnipeg began in 1961 as a plumbing inspector, eventually working his way up to Chief Plumbing Inspector. He retired in 1994 under Mayor Susan Thompson.

Dad left a lasting impression on most people he knew. Always quick to hold the door open for you, friend or stranger, his outlook on life and people was mostly positive. The one thing about him was his sense of humor... he was fast with a quip or a joke and, in our family, humor was the oil that made everything in life tolerable, especially helpful in surviving sad events. Even in his later years, his eyes would twinkle with the pleasure of a well-timed funny comment or the telling of an old corn dog of a joke... "Want some gum?" he'd ask his kids..."Chew my bum, it's Wrigley's..." We'd groan, and he'd be delighted with himself. If you ever ran into our dad in a waiting room or in line at Safeway, he might have asked you what part of Winnipeg you grew up in, what high school did you go to, and what had you done for a living? If he then could ascertain whether or not you were a Montreal Canadiens fan, he would have felt he had just won the conversational jackpot of the day.

The search for a partner ended when he first set eyes on Lorraine—he spied her one day walking towards the Norwood Canteen in St. Boniface in the early '50s... her short, dark haircut, a secondhand khaki military jacket, and black slacks riveted him, and he set out to make her acquaintance. Once this was established, he would always walk her home. He ended up walking her home until the end of her life after 61 years of marriage. Dad was proud of his beautiful, talented wife; her natural singing talent took her into lounges and ballrooms all over the city, into television and radio stations, and live theatrical performances. He fully supported and encouraged her in her career.

With the birth of his children, it became increasingly apparent that it was time to purchase a house after years of renting. The district Dad most visited for his job was a new area out in St. James, Heritage Park. Once moved onto Harvest Lane and the establishment of nearby Heritage Victoria Community Club, he started working one by one on each of his children to see if any of them were suited to playing hockey. His two sons, Joe and George, took to the ice very well, to his delight.

He started volunteering in different hockey positions with the Heritage-Victoria CC from 1970-75 and the St. James Canadians Minor Hockey Association from 1975-1980.

Dad was the convenor of the St. James Lions Tournament from 1977-1990; teams from Europe and all over North America came in to play in the late-season tournament.

Dad started scouting with the Prince Albert Raiders in 1982 and developed a long-time friendship with coach Terry Simpson.

Highlights include seeing his son Joe win a Centennial Cup with the Raiders in 1982 and then the Memorial Cup in 1985 when he was scouting for the Raiders.

In 1992, Dad also scouted for the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL.

Dad was a long-time Winnipeg Jet season ticket holder starting in 1979 when the Jets joined the NHL. Dad's favorite team, by far, were the Montreal Canadiens, and he enjoyed watching hockey on Saturday night. George was a collector of sports memorabilia and especially anything with a Canadiens affiliation, including his favorite player, Jean Beliveau.

He was an avid hockey card collector and had a library of hockey books and old programs. The sound of home to us will forever be the sound of a hockey game emanating from the living room or rec room... the odd profanity thrown out to break up the action.

Dad enjoyed several circles of friends all throughout his long life. School friends and teammates, people he met through his job, the Dirty Dozen gang, made up of couples socializing throughout their young adult lives extending well into their senior years, musical colleagues of our mum, and his breakfast group, the Romeo's (Retired Old Men Eating Out).

Our dad was outgoing, interested in people no matter who you were, and believed that everyone deserves opportunity and 'a chance'. If you were a friend of our dad's… just remember, you still probably owe him a few dollars from the time he undoubtedly unplugged your sink or installed a new toilet in your home.

Dad once mentioned that the best time of his life was "when you kids were all still little". This time in anyone's life would have been a crazy busy time, juggling full-time work, three little kids at home, making time for extended family and friends, and pursuing his interests and sports when he could. All the kids remember was a lot of crying and diapers, etc.; it took becoming a parent for us to truly understand his nostalgia for that time of his life. He was such a fun, loving, and sometimes mildly tenacious father; he had a tendency to dig his heels in when he wanted you to try something you may not be all that interested in because he felt it was important that you at least try it and then judge. He emphasized the importance of being original and trying not to copy others and, if he saw you were passionate about an interest, he was supportive in any way he could to encourage you. His sense of humor and his love of family seemed like cornerstones of our life, and we do realize how fortunate we were to have grown up under his care and influence.

We hope that wherever our dad is now, he is busy busy busy and asking people if they know who Tim Horton was, what high school they went to, and hopefully when it's our turn to go, he'll be there holding the door for us.

We would like to thank Deer Lodge Centre Tower 3 staff for their loving care of our dad; we appreciated your work and, as mentioned to you many times, we felt we won the lottery when you took our father into your care.

As per Dad's wishes, there will be no funeral or memorial service. No flowers, please, but feel free to tell someone a quick joke to brighten their day.

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

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