Cover photo for William Newman West's Obituary
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William Newman West

October 12, 1935 — July 9, 2023

Charleston, South Carolina

William Newman West

William N. West, 87, of Charleston, SC, passed away on Sunday, July 9, 2023.

Known affectionately as "Bill," Mr. West was born on October 12, 1935 in Camden, South Carolina.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 16, at Grace United Methodist Church in West Ashley, beginning at 2:00 PM. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery of Columbia, SC, on July 17 with a private service for family and close friends.

Mr. West was pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 62 years, Jo Ann Neeley West, who passed in 2017; and his parents, James Frank West and Eva Rebecca West; as well as a sister, Mrs. Betty Levy.

He is survived by his only son, Keith F. West of Charleston.

Other surviving family members include nephews David and Richard Levy of Virginia; Thomas, Bryan and Hunter Neeley, and Tanner Poore, of Columbia, SC; nieces Stephanie Levy of Virginia, and Savanna Neeley and Melinda Neeley Poore and Kara Poore of Columbia.

Mr. West graduated from Columbia High School in 1953, after which he went to work for the C&S National Bank in Columbia. In 1958, he began a transcendent, 38-year career with the Prudential Insurance Company, in which he became one of that insurance giant's leading agents. Mr. West was a member of the Prudential Leaders Roundtable 28 times, consistently placing in the top 2% of that company's total workforce.

His professionalism extended to a role as national activist in the insurance industry. From 1973 to 1974, Mr. West was president of the Charleston Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (formerly CALU), in which he was awarded that organization's "Man of the Year" award. In 1980, Mr. West served as president of the state association. In 1984, he was president of the Life Insurance Leaders of South Carolina.

In 2004, he was presented with the honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award for life insurance, recognizing his "dedicated service to the insurance industry during his career."

Mr. West was a devout believer in giving back to the local community. He served a stint as president of the North Charleston Optimist Club, in 1972-73. Later, in retirement, he was a principal organizer of the West Charleston Sertoma Baseball tournament, which included high school teams throughout the Lowcountry.

A member of Grace United Methodist Church since 1965, he served on a number of committees, as well as with the church council.

Mr. West was a longtime member of the Scottish Rite, and the Masons.

Bill West was born in the throes of the Great Depression, and raised during World War II, a period which molded his values throughout his life. He was a heartfelt believer in honesty and fairness towards all people. He passionately believed that everyone should accept personal responsibility for their actions in life, and should invest in their family and community in their own unique, individual way. Mr. West was widely known for his quick wit, and sense of humor.

As a Father and husband, he untiringly strove to be the best provider for this family.

Memorial contributions for Mr. West should be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 1601 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, Charleston, SC, or the charity of your choice. 

Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. West Ashley Chapel.



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