Former Williamson mayor and Mingo County Board of Education president Charles Stanford “Butch” West, died last Saturday, Oct. 5, at his home following an extended illness.
West, 71, was residing in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, at the time of his death. He was a native of Taylorsville and was born on Sept. 12, 1948, the son of the late Stuart and Ruby White West.
West was an attorney and an active resident of Mingo County. He became mayor of Williamson in January 2003 following the resignation of long-term mayor, Estil “Breezy” Bevins. He served in that post through June 2005. As mayor, West was very vocal and outspoken on the subject of school consolidation. He even threatened to chain himself to the Williamson High School if the Mingo County Board of Education merged WHS with other schools.
“Butch West’s death is a terrible loss for our community. He served with distinction and worked hard in the role of mayor,” said current Williamson Mayor Charlie Hatfield. “On behalf of the City of Williamson, I want to extend our condolences to his family.”
West fulfilled Bevins’ term as mayor, however, he was defeated in the next election by Darrin McCormick who remembers him well.
“Personally, my fondest memories of Butch were times we coached together, watching our children grow up playing ball together, and his hilarious sense of humor,” McCormick said. “As a professional and public servant, he was passionate about the causes that he believed in. His indelible work as Mayor with City Attorney Chris Younger in the development and creation of the Unsafe Building Commission ordinances provided this community (and others around the state) with a valuable tool that has been replicated and successfully used to eradicate or otherwise mitigate hundreds of dilapidated and dangerous properties, while simultaneously preserving the legal rights of both unsafe-property owners, as well as the public and nearby affected property owners.”
Following his tenure as mayor, West was elected to the BOE where he served from 2006 through 2010. For several years, West held the position as president of the school board.
West was an attorney and a graduate of Morehead State University and the University Of Kentucky College Of Law. He also attended Southern West Virginia Community College. He was a United States Air Force veteran serving during the Vietnam War era, a minister with the Fundamental Christian Church, a youth sports coach and a member of the West Virginia and Kentucky bar associations.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Eric West; one grandson, Andrew Tripp West; and one brother, the well-known regional evangelist the Rev. R.A. West.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Jones West; three sons, Adam West of Hurricane, Phillip West of Mt. Sterling and Andrew Joseph West of Sidney, Ky; two daughters, Katie Poore of Jacksonville, Fla., and Lauren Testerman of Crittenden, Kentucky; one sister, Christine West-Sullivan of Frankfort, Kentucky; and several grandchildren.
Funeral services were conducted Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Lakeview Community Church, Salt Lick, Kentucky. Interment was in the Jones Cemetery, Salt Lick, with full military honors given by the American Legion Post 126 of Morehead, Kentucky.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Powell Funeral Home of Salt Lick.