Wilbur Maurice West, a respected and trusted figure in the Cocke County School System for more than four decades, passed away on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at the age of 77, having begun life on January 8, 1944 as the son of Dorothy Sauceman West and Maurice Moore West.
Mr. West’s total career as a Cocke County educator spanned forty-five years, including service as teacher, coach, guidance counselor, and principal before he became the supervisor of curriculum and instruction.
During his high school years at Cosby, 1958-1962, he became an accomplished basketball player, lettering all four years and named co-captain his junior and senior years.
He also participated in a variety of other school activities, and graduated as an honor student.
After high school, Mr. West entered Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tennessee, graduating with honors with an Associate of Arts Degree.
Mr. West completed his Bachelor of Science Degree at East Tennessee State University and returned to his alma mater, Cosby School, to begin teaching. During his time at Cosby, he also coached the Cosby Elementary School girls’ basketball team and served as assistant coach for the Cosby High School girls’ and boys’ basketball teams.
Mr. West became Cosby High School’s first full-time guidance counselor.
During his time as counselor, he completed his Master’s Degree at East Tennessee State University, and reached the teacher certification level of Master’s Degree plus forty-five graduate hours.
He continued as counselor until fall 1977, when he became principal of Cosby School. After two and one-half years as principal, he was asked to fill a mid-year vacancy as supervisor of curriculum and instruction in the school system central office.
Mr. West and his wife Brenda cared for his father, Mr. Maurice West, in the English Creek Community of Cocke County until the elder Mr. West’s death in 2002.
They then moved to Greeneville.
Mr. West remained active in the Cocke County School System and also took up a variety of activities in Greeneville.
He volunteered three days a week at the City Garage Car Museum following his retirement in 2011.
He served as a greeter, guide, loyal volunteer and a “Special Friend to Many” at the museum.
He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where he served as head usher, co-chair of the Serve Team, and teacher for the Seekers Sunday School Class.
He enjoyed hosting his friends at Greeneville’s minor league baseball games and at Tusculum University basketball and football games.
He was a member of Alpha Eta Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International and the ESA Foundation, serving as Chaplain for many years and participating in many philanthropic projects
But Mr. West’s most lengthy career service was as Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Cocke County School System for thirty-one and one-half years, his tenure being the longest ever in the school system’s chief supervisory position.
During his career he gained the esteem of his colleagues as a person of exceptional integrity, industry, attention to detail, good will, and acceptance of responsibility.
Such adjectives as kind, gentle, caring, comforting, listening, and helping were often used to describe him throughout his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice and Dorothy West, and his grandparents, Rev. Wilbur and Mae Sauceman and John and Julia Kyker West.
Survivors include his wife of 29 years Brenda Renner West, sister and brother-in-law Susan and Mickey Blazer, sister-in-law Debbie Renner and special cousins and long-time friends: Russell (Pat) Holloway, Anna (Dr. Karl) Kapoor, Julia (Steve) Brady, Jesse (Vickie) Sauceman, Dottie (Gary) Ford, Billy (Sandy) Sauceman, Dr. Jennifer Sauceman, Dr. Amanda Ford, Rickie Jo Shepherd, Sheila and Luther Pruitt, Lonnie Butler, Charlie Seehorn, Dave Ritter and Ron (Benna) Bennett. Also many other cousins, nieces, nephews and friends, and his beloved fur baby Lucy.
The family will receive friends from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, August 28, 2021 with funeral services following at 7 p.m. in Manes Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Sarah Varnell officiating.
Burial will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, August 29, 2021 in Union Cemetery.
Pallbearers: Russell Holloway, Jesse Sauceman, Billy Sauceman, Gary Ford, Tony Blazer and Kevin Blazer.
Honorary Pallbearers: Seekers Sunday School Class members and ushers at Trinity United Methodist Church; employees of Bewley Properties, Inc.; and exhibitors and patrons of the City Garage Car Museum.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Brenda and Wilbur West Endowed Scholarship Fund. Checks need to be made to the ESA Foundation and mailed to Sheila Pruitt, 210 E. Carpenter Road, Parrottsville, TN 37843, Trinity United Methodist Church Serve Team, 524 Tusculum Blvd., Greeneville, TN 37745 or to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements by Manes Funeral Home.