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Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
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Service Details

Visitation:

Saturday, March 25, 2017
3:00 to 5:00 pm
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa

Service:

Sunday, March 26, 2017
12:00 pm
Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa

Disposition:

Inurnment
Iowa Veterans Cemetery
Van Meter, Iowa

Arrangements:

Hamilton's Funeral Home
605 Lyon Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
(515) 243-5221

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Lewis Jack West

Lewis Jack West, 93 of Des Moines died at home Saturday, March 18. Jack or Jackie, as he was called by friends and family was born Jan. 29, 1924 to Gerald and Edna West Jordan. Orphaned at two weeks old, he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Perry and Anna West.

His grandfather died when Jack was 7 and several years later Anna married Ralph Shaffer who, during the summer traveled the state fair circuit with his restaurant stand. Jack would run the cash register because he was the only person Ralph trusted with his money. Jack shared a lifetime worth of entertaining stories about the fairs to friends and family. He was a proud East High graduate, class of 1942. After graduation he tried to join the Navy, but was turned down because he wore eyeglasses. He worked at the Ankeny ordinance plant for a few months before being drafted. Eventually he served during WW11 in the Army Air Corps with the famed 434th FS, 479th FG, 8th Air Force, based out of Wattesham, England

One evening, shortly after the war he was set up on a blind date and took her to the Iowa State Fair. On September 14th, 1946 Jack married Frances James and they enjoyed 69 years together, never missing a fair, until her passing in 2015.

In February 1948 they bought the only home they would ever own. It was on 56th St. in the northwest part of town. One bedroom, no indoor plumbing and water had to be hand pumped from the well. Over the years Jack added on to their home or remodeled it several times to compensate for a growing family. He built a garage, then tore it down and built a bigger garage.

Known at work as Lew or Gabby, Jack began his Post Office carrier as a mail handler (where his quiet diligence earned him the nickname “Gabby”), later on he carried mail, eventually moving into plant and equipment maintenance where he retired as an Area Maintenance Specialist traveling throughout the state. He was a self-educated man of many abilities, with the ingenuity and skill to fix anything. Jack had a great sense of humor and was quick to see the amusing side of things. He and Frances traveled extensively and especially enjoyed attending squadron reunions around the country. Every person who knew him liked him.

Jack is survived by three sons, Michael (Teri) of Arvada, CO, Kevin (Anne) of Windsor Heights and Alan of Des Moines, four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and his dog, Franco.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Frances and his sister, Geraldine Kelaher.

Services will be held at the Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 605 Lyon St., Des Moines at 12:00 p.m., Sunday, March 26, 2017. Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, March 25th also at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed at: HamiltonsFuneralHome.com