Twila May Pritchett West

Longtime Southwest Colorado resident Twila May Pritchett West died Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, at her home in Sun City West, Ariz. She was six weeks shy of her 82nd birthday.

Mrs. West was born to Oscar L. and Helen Baer Pritchett on Oct. 17, 1930, in Dolores. She grew up there and was a cheerleader in high school.

On Dec. 13, 1953, she married ML West at the Methodist Church in Dolores.

“They both had the courage to pick up their lives completely when they married, and they moved our family around the United States and even into Mexico once over a 25-year period,” her daughter, Rhonda West said. “Every year or two we would pick up and follow my father's career as a metallurgist to a new place. Mom managed these moves with aplomb.”

The West family lived, among other places, in Hesperus; Cortez; Golden; Reno, Nev.; Rockdale, Texas; Veracruz, Mexico; Newburg, Ind.; Vancouver, Wash.; Maryville, Tenn.; and Lake Charles, La. Mr. and Mrs. West spent numerous summers in Durango.

Mrs. West always had a bridge group and ladies golf league as well as enjoying a Jazzercise group in Sun City West.

“She was a social animal in the best sense of the word,” her daughter said. “She loved friends and fun and family, especially when we could all be happening together. She organized neighbors and friends into dinner parties and social outings constantly.”

Her family remembers her as a good listener and a grandmother who loved to play with her grandchildren.

“The corner cabinets of her huge family kitchen in Colorado transformed into the castle of dreams for two generations of children,” her family said. “She would cook with these little girls, oblivious to the batter that sprayed across the walls, and she was even willing to eat those decorated cakes the rest of us feared to touch. She was never too tired to play.”

The Wests also enjoyed traveling, visiting China, New Zealand, Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Egypt.

“She had a few faults,” her daughter said. “Her golf game was always shaky. She had a sweet tooth that knew no limits. And in recent years she wasn't very good at holding her punches, but that seems to me a well-earned perk of getting older.”

Mrs. West is survived by her husband of almost 59 years, ML West, of Sun City West; son, Brian West, of Durango; daughter, Rhonda West, of St. Louis; sister, Evelyn Tibbits, of Dolores; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

No services are planned at this time.