Harold Eugene “Gene” West

October 13, 1923 ‒ September 26, 2016

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Harold Eugene “GENE” West, age 92, of Mount Gilead, passed away Monday morning, September 26, 2016 at Bennington Glen in Marengo. Gene was born in Mt. Gilead area Oct. 13, 1923 to parents Raymond and Deniza (McPeak) West. Gene went to and graduated from Mt. Gilead High School in 1942. Upon graduation in the summer of 42 he enlisted in the United States Army. He was sent to Camp Haan, in California where he did his basic training. Then in 1943, till the end of World War II, Gene would be stationed in the islands of the Pacific Theater. He would return to Mt. Gilead, only to meet and marry Doris (Higgins) West. They would have three children Jerry West of Mt. Gilead, Kathy (West) Fogle of Marengo, and Dennis West of Mt. Gilead. Gene took advantage of the GI bill to attend college at Ashland College. He earned an education degree, and became a teacher. His teaching career spanned three schools Lexington – Mt. Gilead – Ontario. His longest tenure was at Ontario. Here he was a middle school math teacher as well as football, basketball, and track coach. His teaching career lasted 45 years in public education and he loved every minute. Gene spent 45 years working evenings at the local Sohio service station that later became the BP station. Here he could help the community with solving the world problems, or auto needs. He finally retired in 1995. Then for something to do Gene would drive for C&D Chevy dealership. Gene was one of the founding members of the morning McDonald’s coffee club here in Mt. Gilead. He  also had over 60 years of service to the Lions Club. He has always enjoyed sports, travel, working, slot machines and dining out. He was always ready to go for a ride, or road trip to the western states. One of his favorite things to do was to give out Dove chocolates and brighten your day!

Gene is preceded in death by parents, Raymond & Deniza, his wife, Doris, his brothers, Dewayne & Jesse, and grandson, Chad. He is survived by his sister, Thelma May, and brother, Richard West. Children: son – Jerry West, daughter – Kathy husband Randy, and son – Dennis wife Gail. Gene has five grandsons: Nathan Fiant, Matt Fiant, AJ West, Brandon West, and Camden West. He also has three great grandsons: Kasey, James and Rylan Fiant. Gene was loved by all and will be greatly missed.

His family will greet friends from 3 to 8 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mt. Gilead, OH. Services to honor and celebrate his life will take place there on Friday, September 30, 2016, at 11 AM with Chaplain Jeff Slider officiating. Burial will follow at Rivercliff Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the active duty U.S. Army, V.F.W. Post 8054, and AmVets Post 87.

Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338 or to the “Gene West Scholarship Fund,” and may be sent in care of Snyder Funeral Home.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Gene’s family and your special memories or condolences may be shared with them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.


  • How I miss those lunch dates with Mr West and his pal Ed Osborne! I am glad for that short time we had together while I worked at the Morrow County Sentinel. Eighth grade math class at Ontario involved a lot of math through ‘football strategies’! What a character and what a life! We will miss you, Mr. West.

  • I remember Mr.West very well. He was a great teacher and always had a kind word. He and my dad were both teachers & spoke so highly of each other. He will be missed.

  • What a special person. I had him for a teacher and an almost relative and a friend. He will not be forgotten

  • Mr West was one of my favorite teachers! He made such a difference in my life. We all called him Bubbles! I have often thought of him throughout the years and the difference he made in our lives and how we all treasured him. He will be greatly missed.

  • To the family of Gene West, Sending thoughts and Prayers to all.Mr. West was my Math teacher at Ontario. He was loved by all who knew him.Such a caring man.He will be greatly missed by all.
    Janie (Walker) Thornton

  • By far best Jr High teacher at Ontario Middle School for me..he just made a big impact on us..I am sorry to hear of his passing but seemed to live an enriched life! I think he was my teacher in 1968..he made a difference in his students lives..Prayers for family during this difficult time..
    Barbara Connell (Harmony ) Kalamazoo, MI

  • I was saddened to read about the death of Mr. West. I too was one of Mr. West’s students, and later I became a teacher and taught 25 of my 34 years at Ontario. Mr. West was always fondly remembered and discussed when groups of Ontario graduates would reminisce about our junior high math teacher. I hope he knew how much we liked him and admired him. My condolences to his family and friends.

  • Sincere condolences to the West family. Mr.West was one of my favorite teachers during all my years at Ontario. Never a dull moment in his class. He knew how to liven a dull day for sure. What a great time we had. Great memories

  • Deepest sympathy to Mr. Wests’ family. He was a very special gentleman and a great teacher. My brother, Mark, thought the world of him, too. I hope they find each other again……

  • My prayers go to the West family. Mr. West attended all of our class reunions, Class of 1958.
    He was a wonderful teacher and friend of all of his students. He will be missed.

  • Please accept my sincere condolence to the West family. I have many good memories of Mr. West and his special ways of teaching. Ontario lost a very special man.

  • Prayers go out to the West family. Mr West was a very kind and caring teacher. He was Mr Bubbles to so many of us at Ontario Jr High. I feel very blessed to have known Mr West .

  • Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of Gene. He was my mentor as I began teaching at Ontario schools. I viewed him as a very good teacher, coach, and as a very good friend. I will miss him.

    Steve Leedy

  • I am sorry to hear of Mr. West’s passing. My dad played basketball against Mr. West in high school. I loved taking his math class. He was a special teacher for me in junior high. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. Maybe he can meet up with my dad on the big basketball court in the sky.

  • I had Mr West in 7 th grade at Ontario. He was a very good teacher and a very kind man. He really loved and cared about his students. My condolences to his family. Marilyn Newell Blackstone

  • Fall of ’52, 7th grade, was the first time I came face to face with Mr. West. What struck me at that time was his warm smile, his calm cool demeanor, and his perfect handwriting. Later he was my very first baseball coach. Later yet, Mr. West became Gene at the Sohio Station. (Why would I buy gas from anyone other than Gene.) Many evenings playing Far-Away at the Coke machine with Gene and his regulars. God could not have chosen any better role model when one was most needed in my life. RIP Gene.

  • My deepest sympathies to the West family at this time. May God give you peace and strength during this time. Love and prayers to the family. Allegra Morrison, Amy Hinkle and Patti Jackson.

  • What wonderful memories Gene West has left! I taught with Gene at the Ontario Junior High in the mid 60s. He was a dedicated teacher and coach. He and my husband were good friends too as my husband supervised the Sohio stations in this area. We treasured his friendship.

  • Sincere condolences to the West family. Never had Mr. West as a teacher unless you count the many nights I spent at the Sohio station waiting on my dad to pick me up after ball practices! Great experiences/memories for sure.
    God Bless Jerry, Kathy, Denny and families during this difficult time.

    John and Debbie Curtis

  • Mr. West taught so many of us former students more than just math. He was kind and funny and could brighen your day with his warm smile. May the memories bring his family peace during this difficult time.

  • Gene’s integrity and service to our country is outstanding.. His joy of teaching and coaching has affected many lives and has influenced the next generation, as shown by his son, Denny’s, gift of teaching and coaching. His love of friendship was readily seen by the McDonald’s coffee club, of which I was sometimes a participant. He was always welcoming when my wife, Harriet, and I came to visit a meet. He has been a MG and Ontario icon and will be missed. Blessings and comfort to the children and families.
    Ron Thill

  • Jerry: I’m so sorry to hear of your father’s passing! He had such a sweet personality! I’m sure you took advantage of enjoying time with your father during his last years. I pray for healing for yourself and your family in the days to come. Blessings, Cheryl

  • So sorry for the family’s loss he was a great guy and it was a pleasure To serve Mr west coffee in the morning at McDonald’s he always gave us little treats such a adorable man God bless Mr. West

  • To the West family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. West will be greatly missed. He was such a wonderful teacher. His math class was a class I looked forward to every day. God bless your family during this difficult time.

  • Sincere sympathy to the West family. Everyone who knew Gene was aware of the very special man he was. He will be missed by many and his impact on students of all ages will be timeless.

  • So sorry to hear of your loss. Gene was always so sweet to me. My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

  • Sending our thoughts and sympathy to all the Wests at this sad time. It was a pleasure to read the comments of some many of his students. Teachers touch so many lives.

  • Gene had such a wonderful sense of humor and was so good with his students. I learned a lot by teaching with him. He could always make me laugh, even when things were tough.

  • Denny, Gail and boys, –So sorry to learn of your loss. What an amazing legacy of teaching and pouring into the lives of students, and you have carried it on. May God bless and keep you as you face the days ahead and all there is to do.

  • Many great memories while working at Sohio with Gene and RD. Many life lessons learned and remembered. Sorry to hear the news of his passing. Prayers!

  • As a neighbor Bob remembers Gene heading for Ashland College school days to obtain a degree. Gene lived half mile from Bob’s home. Although we didn’t stay in the Mt.Gilead neighborhood when we would visit Mount Gilead area we would drink coffee and eat pie with Gene and his dad.
    Best wishes to his family.
    Bob and Jan Fairchild

  • Kathy, Jerry, and Denny, I’m so glad we had the opportunity to visit with your Dad at the Mitchell reunion this month. What a gift his life was to all he touched! From losing our own parents we know that no matter what their health condition or age, one is never ready to part with a parent. May the love and comfort of our Lord and Savior strengthen and surround you at this time. Joyce and John Birkhold

  • My sincere sympathy to the West family for your loss. A very special man, teacher and great friend. I was so glad to see him a couple months ago at First Baptist Church in Mt. Gilead. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Mr. West was the most influential teacher and coach that I was lucky to interact with in my youth. He was our Athletic Director in Middle School, my 7th grade Math Teacher (or depending on the day, sometimes 3/4 ESPN Commentator and 1/4 Math Teacher – which we all loved), and my track coach. He was incredibly kind to me when he knew that I had difficulties at home. He encouraged me, supported me, and even reached out to my mom and I together, by taking us out to dinner numerous times. He loved to tease me, and was always there to lend an ear, or to give me a swift kick in the rear. I was going through boxes from my youth a few weeks ago, and found a card of encouragement from him that he had written to me when I was 13 years old. He had the most beautiful hand writing of anyone that I have ever seen. Before my daughter read the card, that was the first thing that she commented on – “Mom – this is the most perfect handwriting that I have ever seen”. Reading that card after all of these years made me remember how remarkable he was, although I had never forgotten. He had written that I could accomplish anything that I set my mind to it and that he believed in me 100%. I loved him dearly, and am saddened to learn of his passing, particularly as I live in Indiana, and just learned of his death today; however, I find solace in knowing that he will live on, through all of us that he touched with his kindness and generosity. Thank you Mr. West for having such an impact on my life, and may you now experience constant peace and happiness, and reap many rewards for all of the great things that you did during your time here on Earth. You will be deeply missed by many, but never forgotten. God Bless You!!!

    Shelly Nolen – OHS Class of 1990

  • I was saddened to learn of Gene’s passing. My condolences to Jerry, Kathy, Denny, and all the kids.

    “I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
    I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

    I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
    If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

    You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
    But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
    And filter and fibre your blood.

    Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
    Missing me one place search another,
    I stop somewhere waiting for you.” (from section 52 of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”)

  • I think you need to be a special person to be a teacher at any level…but to be a middle school teacher as long as Mr West was….and to be as respected and loved as he was at Ontario…says it all about the man he was and legacy he leaves behind. He made math less intimidating, he made the entire school experience more enjoyable as a coach and teacher….he really cared. So glad I was one of the lucky young people that had the good fortune to be under his guidance. Thoughts and prayer go out to the West family.