MILBRIDGE – Harold E. West, 85, passed away March 12, 2010, at an Ellsworth hospital after a brief illness. He was born July 1, 1924, in Milbridge, to John E. and Mary Blanche (Glidden) West. Harold was an automotive mechanic and worked for Sawyers Motors for 24 years and Maine Department of Transportation for 18 years, retiring in 1976. Harold dedicated his life to public service, beginning with combat duty on the battlefields of Europe during World War II, where he was severely wounded. He served in the U.S. Army under Gen. Patton. Since then West served in the Maine State Guard, was a Milbridge selectmen for 18 years, charter vice president of Milbridge Medical Center Board of Directors and served as board trustee for 24 years. He was one of the founding members of Milbridge Veterans Club and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a driving force in many Washington County projects, including getting the Narraguagus Bay dredged twice, construction and repair of Jordan Pier and Milbridge Recreational Pier. As a member of Route One Corridor Committee, he helped obtain the designation of Schoodic Scenic Byway and the efforts to have the Hancock-Sullivan (Singing) Bridge replaced. He was chairman of Washington County Democratic Committee for eight years and a key member of the Maine State Employees Association for 16 years – 12 years on the board of directors. His decades of service to his hometown earned him the nickname “Mr. Milbridge.” Harold was able to achieve his myriad of civic accomplishments through his hard, persistent work and his ability to bring people together. Community leaders, legislators and others always knew that Harold was not trying to benefit a particular group, party or affiliation. They knew his primary motivation was for the betterment of everyone. Last year on his birthday, he was honored by the governor, legislators and residents as the state renamed the former Great South Bridge over the Narraguagus River as the Harold West Bridge. In his retirement years, he loved working in his vegetable gardens, puttering around the garage and shops, and watching his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren play. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Ramona; son, Alton West and wife, Diane; daughter, Brenda Duggan and husband, Phil; grandsons, Chris and Brian West; granddaughter, Jamie Clark and husband, Jordan; granddaughter, Seana Beal and husband, Troy; granddaughter, Michelle Bolen and husband, Rob; granddaughter, Marcia Hall and husband, Dustin; special niece, Cheryl McManus and husband, Charles; sister-in-law, Donna Cirone and husband, Ed; sister-in-law, Catherine Stanwood; brother-in-law, Les Stanwood and wife, Kathy; 12 great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his parents; and brothers, Ernest, George and Lawrence West. Friends may call 6-8 p.m. Sunday, March 14, at Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Main Street, Milbridge, where a funeral service will be celebrated 2 p.m. Monday, March 15. Donations may be made in his memory to Milbridge Historical Society, P.O. Box 194, Milbridge, ME 04658. Condolences may be sent at www.bragdonkelley.com.
HAROLD E. WEST
Posted March 12, 2010, at 7:36 p.m.