With family at his side, George Bruce West II died peacefully in the morning of August 20, 2015 in Plymouth, Mass. Bruce, as he was known, was born in Washington, DC, the son of Charles Krug West and Margaret Braitmayer West, on December 14, 1927.
He graduated from St. Albans School in 1945 and from Washington and Lee University in 1949. He served briefly in the Pacific during World War II and as a staff sergeant during the Korean War. He began his professional career at Pan American Airways and then spent two years as an account executive with Bell Advertising in Washington, DC.
Bruce married Joyce Marie Corbett on January 29, 1955. While living in Washington, DC, he and Joyce spent twenty years raising their five children. In 1958, Mr. West and Jerry Brady founded West and Brady Advertising. Advertising allowed him to express his creativity by marrying his passions for visual art, the printed word, and music. Bruce served on the boards of The Potomac School, St. Albans School and Children’s Hospital, among other organizations. In 1974, he and his family moved to Marion, MA, to start a new chapter at Clearwater Farm.
Bruce West lived passionately, filled with a deep and abiding love for the people around him. He was an old- school gentleman – quite literally, a gentle man. Bruce spoke thoughtfully across the wide range of favorite topics always on his eclectic palette. He was a natural educator who loved learning as much as teaching. This gift served him well during his ten-year career as an English teacher at Tabor Academy where he was also the faculty advisor to the school’s newspaper and yearbook. He immersed himself in the community of Marion, building life-long friendships and actively engaging in civil discourse. The pace in Marion was slower, which enabled him to spend time on the things he truly valued: his art, the land, the community, his family, and his many friendships. He loved the sky, the wind, the water, painting, dreaming, writing, and talking. He loved gardening, travel, Ireland, music, fine wine, the Snow White, his Nikon, the Redskins, the Celtics, the Patriots and the Red Sox. Bruce loved playing tennis, swimming in salt water, and sharing his musings, preferably while sailing. This was a man who loved being alive. An ideal summer Sunday for Bruce began with a morning of men’s doubles at the Sippican Tennis Club followed by a sail to Bird Island and a picnic with his family. Once the Gnome was back on her mooring in the harbor, he would swim to Meadow or Ram Island and back to the beach on Cedar Point. The day would not be complete without a family dinner of fresh cherry stones, corn on the cob, a salad, and a cheeseburger or steak, followed by a raucous game of charades.
He was a poet, an artist, and a composer — a Renaissance Man who loved to share what he created. He was a tinkerer, and the counter in his pantry was filled with gifts of his making: a dream catcher, a copy of his latest cd, a piece of weathered driftwood fashioned into an award for finding the most beautiful shell. He lovingly created each gift because, for Bruce, the act of giving was the true purpose of living.
Mr. West is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joyce Corbett West, his sister, Margaret Braitmayer Root, and his brother, David Wallace West. He leaves behind his daughter, Margaret Wendy West and her wife, Rebecca Leeman, of Portland, ME, and his sons, Charles Krug West and his wife, Liz, of Rochester, MA; Jonathan Braitmayer West and his wife, Cassy, of Mattapoisett, MA; Mark Corbett West and his wife, Cyndy, of Nottingham, NH; and George Bruce West III and his wife, Jeanie, of Peterborough, NH. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren, Ian Derrick West, Taylor Graham West, Robert Braitmayer West, Reilly Evans West, Madeleine Jarvis West, Connor Martin West, and Georgia Catherine West.
The West family invite you to join in a celebration of Bruce’s life on Saturday September 12th at 1:00 at St. Gabriel’s Church, 124 Front Street, Marion, Massachusetts.
In lieu of flowers please feel free to make donations to The Buzzards Bay Coalition, 114 Front Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, 02740 or to The Marion Art Center, P.O. Box 602, Marion, Massachusetts, 02738. Arrangements are by the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. For online condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.