Rose Marie Simpson West: 1930-2020


Rose Marie Simpson West was born to Cullen and Martha Simpson in Monticello, Ky., July 10, 1930, and was the youngest of 12 children. She moved to Washington by train and married Etheridge Walton West upon arriving in Vancouver, Feb. 23, 1950. They were married for 46 years, until she lost her beloved husband March 29, 2007.

In the early years of their marriage, she worked as a looper for Kandel Knitting Mills in Portland, Ore., and upon leaving that job she became a full time mother and housewife. She loved her family and her many dogs and cats, gardening, embroidering, the farm north of Daybreak bridge that she and her husband lived on for over 30 years and singing. Many people might remember her for her part in performances with the Ed West Gospel Singers, a group that sang for several years at the Clark County Fair and around the county in various nursing homes and retirement centers. She moved to Arizona to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren the summer of 2009, and resided in Mesa, Ariz., until she died May 29, 2020 at the age of 89. Sadly, due to the COVID-19, no family members were able to be with her at the time of her passing.

She was preceded in death by her husband; and son, Randy Edison West.

Rose Marie is survived by her daughter, Carolyn (West, Seely) Kooken; grandson, John Seely; granddaughter, Wendy (Seely) Knefelkamp (Craig); and her two great-grandchildren, Elijah and Katie.

She will be hugely missed because of all the wonderful memories her surviving family has of the years before she started down her long road with dementia.