In memoriam: David A. West, associate professor emeritus of biological sciences, College of Science
April 8, 2015
David A. West, associate professor emeritus of biological sciences in the College of Science, died April 2 at his home in Blacksburg. He was 81 years old.
West came to Virginia Tech in 1962 where he taught biology and genetics until his retirement in 1998.
Faculty colleague Bob Benoit, associate professor emeritus of biological sciences, wrote a remembrance of West titled "A Biology Professor for All Seasons."
"David was elected year after year to the biology department’s executive committee because he was the wise intellectual who had a vision of the university beyond narrow department personal goals. He was committed to the tripartite university mission of teaching, research, and service. He was a popular genetics professor who received several teaching awards. Students knew from battle reports that there were no easy A’s in any Dave West course," Benoit wrote.
West was born and spent his childhood in Beirut, where his father and grandfather both taught at the American University of Beirut, according to his obituary posted on the McCoy Funeral Home website.
West married Lindsay Lattimore Butte in New York City in 1958. He attended Cornell University to study ornithology, graduating with a doctoral degree in 1959, according to his obituary.
In retirement, West pursued interests in music, reading, travel, and the local mountains with wilderness designation for additional areas in the Jefferson National Forest including Brush Mountain, his obituary said.
West is survived by his wife, Lindsay; sister Elisabeth FitzHugh; and brother Allen; son Peter and wife, Katherine Hood, of Brooklyn, New York; his son Roger and wife, Deborah, of Silver Spring, Maryland; his daughter Susan West Marmagas and husband, William, of Blacksburg. He also is survived by five grandchildren.
Friends are invited to visit the West residence, 607 Giles Road in Blacksburg, from 3 to 6 p.m. today, April 8. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in memory of David West.