It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of George H. West, M.D., on May 17, 2018, after an extended period of declining health. Dr. West was 78 years old.
He is lovingly remembered by his wife of nearly 53 years, Annette Tixier West, his three children Deborah West Panagacos (and husband Alex), Emily West Gower (and husband Adam), and Jeffrey Allan West (and wife Julie), as well as his four grandchildren Louis Arthur Gower, William Harper Gower, Constantine George Panagacos (Gus), and Rachel Elizabeth West.
The family will receive visitors on Saturday, May 19 from 3:00-5:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm at Howard-Carter Funeral Home at 1608 W. Vernon Avenue. A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, May 20 at 2:30 pm at Gordon Street Christian Church at 118 E. Gordon St. in Kinston. A reception will immediately follow in the Fellowship Hall.
George Harper West was born on April 17, 1940 in Kinston, NC to the late Willie Croom and Ruby Mae Harper West. He was the second of five children and is survived by his brother James Neil West (and wife Carolyn), and sisters Dr. Linda West Little (and husband Maylon), Jennifer Joy West, and Sylvia West Noble (and husband Martin), as well as several nieces and nephews, a grandniece and grandnephews, and a great-grandnephew.
Dr. West graduated from Contentnea High School in 1958. He received a BS degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University in 1962 and his medical degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston Salem in 1967. He completed his internship, residency training, and fellowship at NC Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, specializing in internal medicine and cardiology.
He married Annette Louise Tixier on July 30, 1965 in Houston, TX. He served as a General Medical Officer in the United States Air Force from October 1968 until September 1970 at Patrick Airforce Base in Florida, where he achieved the rank of Captain.
He was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in 1973 and was a long-time member of the American College of Physicians. In 2004, he received certification by the American College of Physician Executives.
In 1973, Dr. West established his private medical practice, Kinston Diagnostic Group, and joined the Active Medical Staff of Lenoir Memorial Hospital, where he served as Medical Staff President from 1977-1978 and again in 2004. He was an active member of the Board of Directors. In 2006, the Board passed a resolution to memorialize the service rendered by George H. West, M.D., to Lenoir Memorial Hospital, Inc. He was inducted into the Lenoir Memorial Hospital Hall of Honor in 2010.
Dr. West was musically gifted, and he generously shared this gift throughout his life. He was raised in a musical household, singing and playing the piano, trumpet and guitar. He was devoted to the musical education of his children and grandchildren, and many family weekends and holidays were spent around the piano. At Christmas, Dr. West led the hospital staff in sing-a-longs of carols around his keyboard. Even in his declining health, today’s technology enabled him to support and enjoy the musical gifts of his grandchildren, and to continue to share his love of music with others by sharing favorite tunes over Facebook—many of his followers would eagerly await his selections and say, “play us a tune tonight, Dr. West.”
Dr. West also had a great love for nature, with a particular passion for tending roses. Many evenings he would pick a fresh rose to bring in for his wife before dinner.
Dr. West has been greatly loved and respected by the community of Lenoir and neighboring Counties. He has faithfully served thousands of patients and touched tens of thousands of lives over 4+ decades in private practice. He has taught and mentored hundreds of employees and colleagues over the years. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy lives on in the work he has done.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lenoir Memorial Hospital Foundation Dr. George H. West Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund (252-522-7262).
Howard-Carter Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
On-line condolences may be sent to howardandcarter.com