Goldean West, age 71 years of Niles, Michigan, mother, grandmother, sister, tennis enthusiast, reader, fashionista and fervent liberal, died peacefully at 5:36 a.m. on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center in Saint Joseph, Michigan following a brief illness.
She was born on January 18, 1949 in Catron, Missouri to Roosevelt and Etha G. (Black) West. Goldean graduated from Niles High School in 1966. In 1967 – as an 18-year-old – she moved to California where she quickly adopted the liberal lifestyle and all that Women’s Liberation had to offer. She attended the Altamont Free Concert – California’s answer to Woodstock – staring the Rolling Stones with security by the Hell’s Angels. She was employed in the offices of Prudential Insurance Company in California. Goldean returned to Niles and was employed at the Michigan State Police in 1979, then later in the office of the former Niles plant of Simplicity Pattern Company in 1982.
Goldean was a member of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Niles, in the West family neighborhood. She was a great fan of tennis, (claiming to be a player), but was more successful watching her favorite players Rafael Nadal, and Venus and Serena Williams. Like the Williams sisters, Goldean dressed well in coordinated colors, properly accessorized, and proud to be a fashionista. She was an avid reader, sometimes a book-in-a-day, and the book was always selected to learn more about a particular subject. She also completed crossword puzzles . . . in pen. Her last book was “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, another intelligent, liberal woman with great fashion sense.
Perhaps a reprieve from all of her interests was her flower beds at home on North Eighteenth Street. She enjoyed getting her hands in the soil, planting summer lilies and autumn mums. Her neighbors were important, and she has maintained contact with them after moving into the high-rise apartment.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and by four of her nine siblings, Roosevelt West, Jr. in 1980, Maxine Smith in 1988, Rosie Moore in 2016, and Henry West earlier this year in 2020.
Surviving family includes her daughter, Dana West-Thomas of South Bend, Indiana; grandchildren, Kaitlyn Gray, Curtis Thomas, Jr., and Chelsea Gold Thomas; a special daughter Carol Wilkins-Lampkin; a special niece; Jamila Green, four siblings, Ruby (& Percy) Coleman and Doris Brown, both of South Bend, Loretta Owens of Detroit, Michigan, and Marcia West of Niles; special sisters Rosemary Gentry and Patricia Taylor, many nieces and nephews; also the father of her grandchildren, Curtis Thomas, Sr.
The family viewing for Goldean West will be Friday, December 18th, 6:00 pm -8:00 p.m. at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles, Michigan, followed by funeral services on Saturday, December 19th at 11:00 a.m. also at Halbritter’s, with Pastor Maurice McAfee presiding and eulogy by Chelsea Gold Thomas. Attendance is limited to twenty-five. Others may witness the services via the livestreamed broadcast on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/. Committal will be private at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Goldean loved life, experiencing all that she could, and learning about areas that she had yet to visit. More than that she loved the people in her life, finding places for those bonus family members, and most importantly her daughter and grandchildren.
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