Donald Earl West, Age 72, of Vonore, TN passed away suddenly at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio on November 5th, 2020. Don was born on November 6th 1947 in St. Paul, MN to Claude and Leona (LaVassuer) West. Don graduated from White Bear Lake Sr. High School in 1965 and in 1966 began studies at Mankato State University. On August 23, 1969 he married his high school sweetheart, Linda Beulke and with her support, went on to finish his studies majoring in Technical Industrial Arts and Mathematics in 1970.
While living in New Prague, MN he worked for a civil engineering firm and in early 1972 Don and Linda moved back to their hometown of White Bear Lake, MN. Shortly thereafter, they relocated to Crystal, MN so Don could be closer to work.
A year later, Don responded to a job posting in the local paper. He was offered a position and began his professional career with GameTime, a manufacturer of park and playground equipment which, at that time was a division of the Toro Company.
When Toro sold the GameTime Division to the Siragusa Brothers, they moved Operations from Bloomington, MN to the manufacturing facility in Litchfield MI. Don and Linda had to pack up again and moved to Coldwater MI.
In 1979, Don and the CFO, Rick Kuhn, were charged with the integral task of coordinating GameTime’s relocation to Fort Payne, AL, which included hiring the new work force and setting up the manufacturing facilities. After a successful move, Don served Gametime in the engineering department as a new product manager developing new fun and exciting things for kids to play on. He eventually accepted an additional position as Director of Marketing and served until 1985.
He then jumped at the opportunity to purchase the MD, DE, & DC sales territory. Don, Linda & family relocated to Ellicott City, MD. There, Don and Linda founded West Recreation, Inc. Don was a people person and valued relationships. Don thrived having the freedom to work for himself. He successfully grew West Recreation, Inc to become the regional go-to resource for everything “Play”. For 28 years he remained devoted to the business in support of the family and built numerous powerful and lasting friendships.
As the years passed, Don began to feel disconnected from his true passion, nature. An opportunity arose to acquire land in Sudlersville on the eastern shore of MD. So, in partnership with dear friends Pam and Duncan Covington, He and Linda purchased and moved onto “The Farm”. Here he was able to get back in touch with nature. He enjoyed walking in the woods, gardening, hunting, birdwatching and being outdoors.
Then, in 2013, Don realized he wanted more freedom to travel. He and Linda retired, sold the business and relocated to the community of Legacy Shores on Lake Tellico in Vonore, TN.
As the fledgling community continued to grow, Don found opportunity to make new friends and was happy. He found a renewed connection with the water. He was excited to have the ability to go boating and fishing whenever he felt like it.
Don always had a desire to share his experiences with others. Any joy worth having was worth sharing with a friend. He loved company and rarely turned down any invitation.
He was always an active member of the local church participating in mission trips, food drives, youth ministries and helping in any way he could.
He was a mentor to many and always found happiness in the success and achievements of others. Don never believed any task or chore was beyond his capabilities. When faced with adversity, Don always came up with a solution. With this confidence, he encouraged others to extend themselves beyond their comfort zones.
He was a storyteller with a good sense of humor and a desire to elevate the sprits of everyone in the room.
He was a loyal and supportive husband of 52 years, a proud and loving father, a cherished friend and a faithful servant to our lord and savior.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Linda (Beulke) West; his children Brian (Carolynn) West and Yvonne (Robert) Reese; his grandchildren, Ian and Christian West, Nathan and Gregory DeBruyn; and his siblings Jerry (Barbara) West and Sally (Richard) Colemier.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Richard (Ruth) West and sister, Peggy Ryan.
In lieu of flowers, send memorials to the National Park Foundation or donor’s choice.
A live-streamed memorial service is being planned in the future with date and time to be posted here.
Arrangements by Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral & Cremation Service in Alliance, OH
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Donald E West, please visit our floral store.