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US Navy


Benjamin Lee West

October 25, 1982 ~ December 8, 2018 (age 36)
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          Memorial services for Benjamin Lee Grote West, of Montgomery City, formerly of Wellsville, were held, Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall in Wellsville. Rev. John Foster and Rev. Mike Carmi officiated.  A Masonic Service was held at 1:30 p.m.

          Serving as honorary pallbearers were Chris Brookman, Joel Brower, Donny Bryson, Steve Fort, Brian Maskey, Keith Reynolds, Brian Whitehead, and C.W. Yordt.

          Visitation was held from noon until the time of service, Wednesday, at the fellowship hall.

          Interment of his cremains was in Fairmount Cemetery in Middletown, Missouri. Firefighter Service Honors were provided by Montgomery Fire Protection District and Missouri Fire Service Funeral Assistance Team.   Full Military Honors were provided by Wellsville V.F.W. Post 3056.  Missouri Military Funeral Honors, “Navy Division,” folded and presented the United States Flag.   

          Services were under the direction of the Myers Funeral Home in Wellsville.

          Benjamin Lee Grote West died Saturday, December 8, 2018, of an apparent heart attack, at his home in Montgomery City, Missouri. He was 36 years old.

          Benjamin Lee Grote West was born October 25, 1982, at the Audrain Medical Center in Mexico, Missouri. He was the only son of Ronald Lee and Tracy Lynn Park Grote. From an early age, he was raised by his mother, and Sidney Clay West, who later adopted him.

          Benjamin was a 2001 graduate of Wellsville-Middletown R-1 High School, taking great pride working as a school reporter for the Optic-News, and enjoyed all music and band related activities while in school.

          He was a Veteran of the United States Navy, having been honorably discharged in December 2005. While in the Navy he served as a CTR3, “Spook” as he liked to refer to his rank as, at NIOC, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he processed over 9,000 intelligence files resulting in 175 time sensitive reports issued to national consumers and theater commanders, ten of which were briefed directly to the Department of Central Intelligence and the Commander in Chief, which earned him the Joint Service Achievement Medal.  He also received the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

          At the time of his death, Ben was employed at the Wellsville Optic-News, where he currently served as Editor. He had been employed there in high school, and had been employed as Assistant Editor for the past seven years.  He took great pride in his work and enjoyed sharing the news with the readers.

          He was a member of the Wellsville V.F.W. Post 3056, Montgomery Fire Protection District, the Masonic Lodge 246, the Missouri Press Association, and the Hermann Band.  Benjamin had attended the Middletown Baptist Church.

          Benjamin is survived by his mother, Tracy Lynn Park and her companion, Richard Craven of Montgomery City, Missouri; father, Sidney Clay West and companion Allison Brower of Montgomery City, Missouri; father, Ronald Lee Grote of Cyrene, Missouri; grandmothers, Wilma See of New Florence, Missouri and Romana Grote of Bowling Green, Missouri; step-sister, Elly Beckman of Hollister, Missouri;  uncle, Travis Kevin Park of St. Charles, Missouri; aunts,  Lana Jo Bailey of Wellsville, Missouri, and Shelley Hampton of Springfield, Missouri;  cousins, Rachel Brewer, Ashley Witter, Katie Alderson, Karly Bailey, Natalie and Brady Hampton,, and Michael Malicoat; his fiancée, Sierra Christianson and her children of Sacramento, California, and numerous extended aunts and uncles, and cousins. Also surviving are a host of friends including two special friends, Carrie and Makinze Swarthout.

          He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Claude and Frances Park, Buell West, and Maurice Grote; and an aunt Wendy Hargis Park.

          Memorial contributions were suggested to the Wellsville V.F.W Post 3056 or the Montgomery Fire Protection District c/o Myers Funeral Home, 203 East Bates Street, Wellsville, Missouri 63384.