School 14
Official Obituary of

Joseph H. West

January 17, 1941 ~ March 5, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old
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Joseph West Obituary

Joseph H. West, 83, of Centralia passed away surrounded by his family’s love, Tuesday, March 5, 2024, at his home. He was born in Benton, Illinois on January 17, 1941, the son of Howard and Dorothy (Neal) West. He married Mary Ellen Border on October 11, 1980, at the First Baptist Church in Centralia, and she survives him in Centralia.

Along with his beloved wife of 43 years, Mary Ellen West, Joe is survived by his children, Randa Westermann and spouse Eric, Neal West, Dale West and spouse Lark; grandchildren, Cole Rightnowar, and Ben West; daughter-in-law, Kelli Rightnowar-Jackson; brother, Jim West; brother-in-law, Will Border and spouse Marilyn; lifelong friends, Dick and Jodi Gibson; as well as extended family members and friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; Howard and Dorothy West; his father and mother-in-law, Lawrence and Wanda Border; son, Dan Rightnowar; grandson, Brockton Bisching; niece, Julie West; and sister-in-law, Lori West.

Joe was a 1959 graduate of Benton High School, where he played football, started for a Regional Championship Basketball team, and qualified for two State Track Meets. Joe graduated from Murray State University in Kentucky, obtaining both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, before starting a career as a teacher and coach. Joe taught and coached in Arizona, later taught and coached in Florida, but spent most of his career at Centralia High School, where he was valued as a lifelong Orphan’s coach and teacher. He coached football, basketball, and track on various levels, developing a reputation as a patient and caring educator. He impacted many lives throughout his career. Later Joe served as the Director of the Upward Bound Director at Rend Lake College. As an avid reader, Joe had an appreciation for the written word, valuing the Centralia Regional Library. A lifelong golfer, Joe’s later years were spent at Greenview Golf Course where he developed lasting friendships that he greatly cherished. Joe leaves a legacy of great perseverance, respect, accomplishment, and love.

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date by Joe’s family. Memorials may be made in Joe’s honor to the Centralia High School Athletic Department and the Centralia Regional Library District and will be accepted for the family at the Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia. Online condolences and memories of Joe may be shared with the family by visiting and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.


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