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  • James Townsend

Obituary for John S. West

John Sidney West, of Portland, passed away peacefully on his 89th birthday, September 11, 2020 with his family at his side.

He was born September 11, 1931 and lived his entire life in Portland. He was a 1950 graduate of Portland High School. He served his country proudly in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, and retired from Portland Products in 1990 after 40 years.

On September 20, 1952, John married that “cute girl next door”, Janean Sandborn. They shared 56 years of marriage before her death on October 12, 2008. Also, preceding John in death were his parents Ken and Ruth (Sherrard) Becker; his sister, Barbara Becker Sherrard; his son-in-law, Denny Schafer and his brothers and sisters-in-law: Bill Sandborn, Loren “Bud” Sandborn, Jackie Whitfield, Norma Kay Hill, Chuck Sandborn and Mary Sandborn. He is survived by his children: John and Karen West of Portland, Tammy Schafer of Fowler, Liz and Scott Blundy of Portland and Dan and Patty West of Grand Ledge; grandchildren Kristi and Dustin Bruse, Amanda and Steve Stejskal, Audrey and Kohl Thelen, Chad and Kary Schafer, Stacey and Eric Simon, Daric and Angela Schafer, Travis Schafer, Kevin (Crystal Smith) Blundy, Joshua (Amber Smith) Klein, Sydney Klein, Tori (Raymon Rahall) Blundy, Nick (Hailee Butler) West, Kyle West and Aaron West. John was also blessed with 12 great grandchildren with one more on the way. Also surviving John are his brothers, George and Donna Becker and Tom and Anna Becker; sister-in-law, Beverly Fedewa; brothers-in-law Jim and Brenda Sandborn and Steve and Geri Sandborn.

John spent his early life growing up under the watchful eye of his grandfather, John Cleveland Sherrard. Together they spent their summers entertaining visitors at Crystal Lake with their Shetland pony rides and the “Johnny West Rodeo Show”.

John loved to talk and was well known for his vast knowledge of both Crystal and Portland Michigan history. He was an avid collector and met many wonderful friends over the years who shared his passion for antiques, BB guns, restoring gas pumps and Wheel Horse tractors.

Later in life, John was fortunate enough to find out that he had a larger family of half brothers and sisters that he took great joy in meeting and getting to know. He was the oldest in the West family and was preceded in death by Paul and Roger, Janet Campbell, Marilyn Blakeslee, Kathryn Phelps and Judy Cooper.

The Funeral Service will be conducted by Rev. Keith Treman at 1:00 p.m., Monday, September 14, 2020 at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge St., Portland. Interment will follow at Portland Cemetery. Military Honors will be provided by the V.F.W. Post #4090. The family will receive friends 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the amazing staff at Portland Assisted Living and Memory Center. They treated Dad like their own family and he loved each and everyone of them. Also, a heartfelt thanks to the wonderful staff of grace Hospice who also went above and beyond to make Dad always feel special and well cared for. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Portland V.F.W. Post #4090 or Grace Hospice in memory of John. On line condolences may be made at You’ve waited 12 long years to be back together Mom and Dad. Happy Birthday with all our love.

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