John West, 87, of Waldoboro, left this world on June 25 in the same way he lived his life – in his own way and on his own terms.
John was a self-made and self-educated man. He spent his childhood in Branford, Conn. in the unspoiled marshes and fields that were his school room. He was an avid reader and learner and as a youngster was able to identify all the birds and wildlife of the pristine Connecticut shoreline of the 1930s and 40s. He joined the Navy in 1951 and was a flight engineer during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1955 and shortly thereafter married Marion and they moved to Southbury, Conn. to raise their family.
John supported his family by working as an auto mechanic through the 50s and 60s and in the early 1970s became a clockmaker. He ran his clock shop out of his house until he retired and fulfilled a lifelong dream by moving to Maine in the late 1990s. Throughout his life, John was a master artist and craftsman and was able to create beautiful objects out of whatever medium he touched. He started as painter, then turned to stained glass and later woodcarving. His carved wooden eagles rival those of the masters.
John was a hard-working man. He appreciated beauty in all things – the natural world, art, music and even the universe as he continued to pursue his learning through the writing of Steve Hawking. He never gave up on living, and even in his last days he wrote in his journal and watched the hummingbirds on the feeder outside his window. He will be missed.
He leaves behind daughter, Kristen Grant of Waldoboro, husband, Barry Grant of Avon, Conn., and their daughters Kenyon Grant of Otter Creek, and Greta Grant of Portland; sons, Paul and wife Genevieve West of Winsted, Conn., their children Seamus and Selena West of Bethlehem, Conn., and NYC respectively, Bradley West of Rockland, and dear friend Ruth Castner of Waldoboro; and Russell Sirianni of Waldoboro, who cared for, supported, nagged and cajoled him into having the best life he could possibly have had in the last year of his life. John lost the love of his life, Marion, in October of 2009. He also leaves behind his dog Satchel.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date at the discretion of his family.