Captain Walter David West III USN (Ret) of Fernandina Beach, Fla., passed away Sunday, June 12, 2016, at Sigsbee Naval Base in Key West, Fla. He was 75 years old.
Walt was born on June 9, 1941, to Walter David West Jr. and Eva Marie Lawton West. He grew up in Utica, N.Y. as the oldest of seven children. Throughout his youth, he worked on the family farm where his parents taught him the values of hard work and determination. He went to college for two years at the State University of New York at Delhi, where he majored in civil engineering. He would later earn his degree at the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterrey.
In February of 1963, he finished flight training and accepted a commission as an officer in the United States Navy. During his commission as a Naval Officer, he served in Vietnam and later was Commanding Officer of VP4 and Commanding Officer of Barber’s Point Naval Air Station, Hawaii. He finished his active duty at USSOCOM in Tampa, Fla. He retired in March of 1990.
After retiring from the Navy, he opened what he would cal la non-profit organization – a hardware store in Apollo Beach, Fla. He was then employed by J.A. Jones in Diego Garcia as Director of Base Operations. He completed his working career as Deputy Director of Base Operations at Naval Submarine Base – Kings Bay.
Though many of his proudest moments involved those spent with his family, he was always happy to help his friends, church, community and fellow vets.
An avid traveler, cyclist, and “Mr. Fix It,” Walt’s real and abiding passion were his family and friends. Walt sought to instill in his children and grandchildren a zest for life, a commitment to family and friends, and the power of a smile.
Walt is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Ardy. His beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of their three daughters: Terri, Tina and Wendy. He is survived by his three son-in-laws: Charlie, Glen and LaRoy. He will be greatly missed by his five grandchildren: Dustin, Drew, Hannah, Leah and Jessie. He is also survived by each of his brothers and sisters: Peggy, Shirley, Tom, Mike, Ken and Don.
In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be sent to the Fisher House and the Salvation Army Hope House on Amelia Island. His service will be held Saturday, June 25, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 9 N. Sixth St., Fernandina Beach, Fla.
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager