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Dr. James P. West, 79, of Raleigh, NC departed this earthly life on Saturday, November 18, 2023. A funeral service will be Monday, November 27, 2023 at 12:00 PM at Martin Marietta Performing Arts Center, 2 E. South St, Raleigh, NC 27601. Attendees are invited to arrive before and during the 11:00 AM fraternal organization ceremony preceding the service and visitation in the lobby with some family members will also precede at 11:00 AM. A public viewing will be held Sunday, November 26, 2023 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Haywood Funeral Home, 2415 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. The family appreciates all forms of tribute and expressions of sympathy. If you wish to honor Dr. West by making a charitable donation, the family asks you consider donating to the 1890 Universities Foundation designating his remembrance. https://www.1890foundation.org/donate
Dr. West was born on December 16, 1943 to William Thaddeus West and Vivian Odell West. He grew up in Harrells, NC in Sampson County working on his parents’ family-owned tobacco farm and attending public schools designated for African Americans under Jim Crow race segregation laws. Dr. West earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro and a Master of Education and a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Community College Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
Over his 30-year career in the North Carolina Extension Service, Dr. West rose from his position as a field agent working with local farmers to hold the high-ranking NC Director of Operations for all of North Carolina’s 100 counties and Cherokee reservations.
A charter member, leader, and founder of numerous civic and political organizations at the neighborhood, city, county, and state levels, Dr. West served as trustee, advisor, adjunct professor, associate tenured professor, associate professor emeritus, and leadership, management, and planned change private consultant to colleges and universities within and outside North Carolina.
Dr. West’s 24 years as a dedicated elected official began with 11 years on the Raleigh City Council representing District C, an area including Southeast Raleigh, and he also served as Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Raleigh. For 13 years and at the time of his death, Dr. West represented Wake County’s District 5 on the Wake County Board of Commissioners. He served as Chair of the Board of Commissioners for two years.
A devout Christian, Dr. West was also a deacon of Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh where he was a church member for over five decades.
Dr. West was predeceased by his first wife, Arnetha Martin West, in October 2007. He is survived by his second wife, Sylvia Clifton West; two children from his marriage to Arnetha West, Kimberly West-Faulcon of Los Angeles, CA and James P. West III of Raleigh; his two sisters, Vivian West Bennett of Dunn, Willie West Harrington of Knightdale; his son-in-law, Kent Faulcon, and daughter-in-law, Mia West; four grandchildren, Keenan West, Dylan Faulcon, Brooke Faulcon and Alana West; and devoted and loving nieces and nephews.