January 26, 1926 - March 10, 2023
Charles (Chuck) West, the son of William and Ellen West, was the second of five children. He grew up in Red Oak, Iowa.
Charles graduated from Red Oak High School in 1943. That same year, he enlisted in the Army Specialized Training Program. In 1944, Charles was sent to Fort Jackson, S.C., as part of the 506 MP Battalion. Later that year he was shipped to Europe, to guard cities in Europe during World War II.
Charles attended Yankton S.D. and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in civil engineering in 1950. He then went on to complete a Master of Divinity at Hartford Seminary Foundation in 1953.
Charles continued his religion studies at Hebrew Union, in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1953 to 1957, studying the Old Testament.
Charles married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Frush, on Dec. 16,1949, in Ames where they both were attending Iowa State University. Chuck and Mary Ellen were married for 62 years.
In 1957 Charles took a position at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. as a Religion and Philosophy Professor. He and Mary Ellen had thought they would stay at this pretty college for a couple of years, but ended up staying for 18 years! During that time Charles held many positions: Professor, Director of Admissions, Dean of Students, Assistant to the President and Acting President. Their family grew to five with the arrival of Lee, Karen and Becky.
In 1975, Chuck decided to make a career change and move back to his home state of Iowa. He took a position as Pastor of St. Peter’s UCC in Geneva. Chuck and Mary Ellen later moved to Cedar Rapids, where Charles was a Pastor at Hope UCC in Hiawatha until he retired in 1993.
Following retirement, Chuck and Mary Ellen moved to an acreage south of St. Joe where they lived until 2011. This was his favorite time of his life! He loved living on the acreage! Chuck enjoyed handyman projects, gardening and entertaining his grandchildren. In 2011, Chuck and Mary Ellen moved to a condo in Algona. Chuck lived in the condo until 2020. His last few years were spent at The Good Samaritan in Algona which he also considered “home.”
Charles E. West is survived by his daughters, Roberta (David) Moser of Lakeland, Colo.; Karen West of Cedar Rapids and Becky (Dave) Bibler of Algona. Grandchildren: Andrew (Emily), Bridget and Andy (Alexandra). Great-grandchildren: Alexander, Corbin, Raelyn and Roman.
Charles was proceeded in death by his wife, Mary Ellen and son Eric Lee; parents, William and Ellen West, as well as four siblings: Johnny West, Leland West, Bill West and Mary Louise Streeter.
A family memorial service will occur in Red Oak this summer. In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to First Congregational UCC of Algona.
Chuck believed in helping others and the world we live in. One of his last requests was that each of us do something to help each other and our world.