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In Memory . . . Rev. Frances West (1931-2007)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010
Ministry and Professional Leadership announces with sadness the passing of The Reverend Frances E. West on Thursday, March 15 after several years of ill health and of immediate complications from pneumonia. 

Frances West was born September 23, 1931. Her university work included a B.A. from Oglethorpe University in 1967, the M.Ed. from Georgia State University in 1974 and the M.Div. from Emory University in 1977. She later completed a Certificate for Chaplaincy Supervision at Emory in 1985.

Reverend West received Preliminary Fellowship in April, 1977 and was ordained in June of 1977 in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. Rev. West received Final Fellowship in May, 1981.

Frances was led to her call to ministry nearly three decades ago during her years of lay leadership at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Atlanta and through the encouragement of Rev. Eugene Pickett. In the ensuing years she served congregations in North Carolina and north Georgia, and was named Minister Emeritus at the UU Congregation of Marietta, Georgia, upon her retirement in 1995. 

Reverend West's ministry included serving as Chaplain in the Emory University Hospital, and congregations in Winder, GA, the UU Fellowship of Raleigh, NC; Gwinnet, Decatur, Atlanta and Marietta, GA.

Frances once shared the following regarding her leadership work in hospice development in the Southeast: "In 1975, when I was a member of the UU Congregation of Atlanta, a friend of mine,.and I became interested in an article about the first American hospice in New Haven, CT. It was a very different care for the dying. (We) had a friend who was dying of cancer, and we felt there was a better way for people to die. So we two people, church-based, started what was to become the first hospice in the state of Georgia, the second in the Southeast. Our first years we had a budget of eighty dollars, and we began training volunteers, even working with two patients, helping them stay home as they wanted. I lectured medical groups wherever I could find an interest. In 1976 I was asked to give a five minute talk at UU General Assembly in Ithaca, NY. After I spoke a woman from the White Plains came and talked with me. She returned to her church to work on changing the legal status of hospices in New York."

Frances is survived by her husband, Bill West, who can be reached at 1430 Westchester Ridge, Atlanta, GA 30329; her daughters Nina West, at 2116 Pine Forest Drive, Atlanta, GA 30345; Jean Alhadeff, 1915 Mt. Brian Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; and Aran West, 207 Brooklea Drive, Syracuse, New York, 13207; and her son Todd, of 626 North Wood Ave., Florence, AL 35630. Memorials to honor Rev. West may be sent to Hospice Atlanta or the UU Congregation of Marietta, GA (1240 Villa Rica Rd, Marietta, GA 30064). 

A memorial service will be held May 19, 2007 at 3:00 P.M. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marietta, Georgia. The service will be led by her son Todd West, current president of the UU Congregation of the Shoals in Florence, AL.

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