Carolyn Mae (Struck) West of Lone Jack, Missouri, departed for Heaven on December 30, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband, the love of her life, Dr. Al West, who went to be with the Lord on December 15.
Carolyn spent her life serving as a mother, grandmother, pastor’s wife, teacher, and counselor. She was a lifelong learner with a curious spirit and a deep heart for others. She would want people to know by her example that she was a Christian.
She was born on a farm south of Carrollton, Missouri, on October 13, 1933, to Raymond Winfrey Struck and Leona Frances Fergason Struck. She was a child of the land during Depression days, which created the framework for her to live out her life to the fullest, appreciating all blessings that came her way.
After graduating high school with honors, Carolyn earned a Master of Christian Education degree from Freedom University. She met Al in Miami, Florida, where he was finishing out six years of active duty in the Coast Guard. They were married on February 22, 1953.
As they grew their family, Al and Carolyn lived in Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, American Samoa, and Texas. While Al furthered his education, worked as a broadcast engineer, and eventually entered gospel ministry, Carolyn was a busy mother of four who helped support the family by working outside the home. Together the Wests established Shiloh Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, and founded Lighthouse Christian Academy. Carolyn worked as the Executive Secretary of Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) in Lewisville, Texas. Later, the Wests established Pascagoula Christian School in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and branched into adult education.
The Wests moved to Independence, Missouri, where Al served as the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church and Carolyn worked as principal of Baptist Christian Academy for 20 years. They built a home in Lone Jack, Missouri, and united with the Lone Jack Baptist Church, where Carolyn served as Secretary/Treasurer. Not quite ready to settle in old age, Carolyn continued to tutor children and substitute in the Lone Jack School District. Poor health led her to retire at the age of 75.
She was an avid historian and genealogist, holding membership in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, writing, and fellowshipping with friends.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her three sisters, Kathleen Nicholas, Doris Hansel, and Margaret Ann Allen.
The Wests are survived by their four children, Mindy Barrett (Bill) of Lone Jack, Missouri; Mark West (Dana) of Nashville, Tennessee; Keith West (Kimberly) of Caddo Mills, Texas; and Joni DeMoss (Rod) of Lone Jack, Missouri.
They were the proud grandparents of Kristy West, Zack West, Whitnae Churman (Reed), Morgan Crabtree (Allen), Douglas West (Natalie), Britney Bartow, Hannah West-Penick (Vince), and Blake DeMoss. They were blessed with five great-grandchildren: Harper Churman, Luke Churman, Ryker Bartow, Maggie Churman, and Warren West-Penick.
Carolyn was able to spend time with every one of her descendants in her final days as they gathered to mourn the passing of their beloved father and grandfather. Carolyn and Al will both be greatly missed, but the legacy of their love lives on through their family.
There will be no service, as 28 immediate family members gathered around her bed the day before her homegoing and paid tribute to her and her beloved Al. They will be buried together in Lone Jack Cemetery at a celebration over the July 4th weekend.
In lieu of flowers, Al and Carolyn’s favorite charities were:
Latitude Global Leadership Community (Leadership Development) https://www.latitudeglc.org/give
Theotherapy Project (Prison Ministry) https://theotherapyproject.com/donate/