William B. West • 1927-2021
If I had to describe Bill in one word… it would be grounded. He was grounded in his life, grounded in his faith, and grounded in the relationships that surrounded him. He carried himself as one of the most grounded people I have ever been fortunate enough to meet… let alone call grandfather.
To say that he was a great man would be an understatement. Even as a child with very little understanding of the world around me… I was aware of Bill’s kind soul.
This was proven over time as I grew older and experienced the world for myself. I gained a deeper perspective of the human condition and all that it entails… and with that, a deeper respect for Bill.
I can remember his command when he sang. I remember how he always drank black coffee and how he would watch the Atlanta Braves in his chair downstairs.
I remember riding in the front seat of his Ford pickup truck as a child. I remember his CB radio and not knowing that it was chewing tobacco in those pouches.
I remember the damp smell of freshly mowed grass and gasoline in the garage and forever associating that as how a garage should smell.
I remember him taking us down to the barn and feeling such a sense of wonder about everything around me. The barn, the horses, the dogs, the tractor… it was all Bill’s world.
I vividly remember holding on to ride a motorcycle for the first time while Bill operated the machine. The moment we leaned in to make the first turn I felt my entire world shift… because I thought we were going to fall off! But we didn’t… and of course we didn’t. Bill had it under control. He always did.
Those experiences sure did make their mark on me. I am eternally grateful for that. I am grateful for the time I was lucky enough to spend with him. I wish we had more time together… we all wish we had more time with him. He won’t know the ways he impacted me, because I never thought to tell him… but that’s okay. I get to take those ways and do my best to impact the world around me the same way he impacted me… and that is one of the many ways that I get to honor Bill’s legacy as the incredible human being we were all so fortunate enough to know and love.