There has been an outpouring of remembrances for the late San Juan Bautista Mayor Jim West, with county board members and a Graniterock colleague honoring him this week.
West died Thursday at age 75. His death was reported that morning from a Graniterock workplace at 2391 San Juan Highway.
Friends and colleagues have been remembering the active community member since then, while scheduling is pending for an official celebration of life ceremony.
This week, Keith Severson from Graniterock recalled West’s devotion to his community and interesting personality traits.
“He was obviously a wonderful civil servant and a really unique character,” said Severson, marketing services manager for Graniterock. “His sense of humor was second to none, and I think he really understood local politics and served mightily to help the community.”
The two started at Graniterock around the same time, about 22 years ago. West was more behind the scenes for the company as a political liaison and government affairs representative, “really helping direct our resources into the appropriate places” in communities, Severson said.
The former colleague made note of West’s love for antique vehicles and how he was instrumental in fixing up the company’s old 1920 mixer.
Severson also mentioned how West was well read, particularly with politics.
“I’m not sure everybody appreciates that,” he said.
Local politicians, meanwhile, have shown an appreciation for West’s track record. That continued Tuesday when the board of supervisors held a moment of silence for him.
“I just want to voice my sympathies to his family,” Supervisor Jerry Muenzer said. “He was a good friend, and his passing just came at a very bad time. So I just hope and pray that family knows how much he was loved and appreciated in this community.”