Kathy Maurgerite West
June 7, 1930 ~ October 26, 2023
Los Angeles, California
Resided in: Hawthorne, California
Kathy M. West of Hawthorne, California died at age 93 on Thursday, October 26, 2023, in her son’s home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
She was predeceased by her husband, John R. West, and her parents, Lillie Emma Weik and George Doerflinger. She is survived by her son, John G. West; her daughter, Malia K. Johnson; her daughter-in-law and caretaker, Julie Dayrit; and her grandchildren, Vanessa and Melinda West.
The guiding theme of Kathy’s life was how dedicated she was to the people in it. Reliability was her love language. It showed in the big things and the little things alike: in the phone calls without fail every birthday, in the holiday gatherings she hosted, and in the family trips to Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes she’d organize.
Kathy was born on June 7, 1930 in Los Angeles. She met her future husband, who went by Jack, at a Catholic dance in South Los Angeles. They married on January 21, 1952 at Ascension Church, and together they raised two children, John and Malia.
Kathy and Jack enjoyed dancing together to records of popular music from when they were young like Andy Williams. They were regulars at local restaurants, especially Luigis where the staff all knew them by name. Kathy loved to travel and especially enjoyed visiting Germany, her country of descent, with Jack. In 2002, they celebrated 50 years of marriage, surrounded by family and friends.
She had a close relationship with her son, who took care of her in her later years with Julie.
Remembering the special connection she felt with her own grandmother, Kathy became a dedicated grandmother herself. She filled Vanessa’s and Melinda’s childhoods with enriching experiences.
She would take them out on early mornings to watch the surfers floating out on the Pacific and get breakfast afterwards at the Kettle. In summers, she’d plan visits to the newest exhibits at the California Science Center.
She supported her grandchildrens’ interests in music, writing, and ice skating by taking them to private lessons, classes at the nearby ice rink, and mystery writing panels at the local library. She introduced Vanessa to the art-rich adventure of the Festival of Living Pictures in Laguna Beach.
On family trips to Mammoth Lakes, she planned hikes to explore the mountain views and waterfalls together, nurturing a love of nature in them. She’d wake them up at the perfect time of night to view a meteor shower in the clear night sky.
Kathy made great efforts to attend UCLA when she was younger, a time when few women attended college. Though she wasn’t able to finish her own degree, to her delight, Vanessa and Melinda both ended up attending and graduating from UCLA, continuing the legacy she began. She herself went back to school in her seventies to earn her AA at El Camino College.
Kathy was an exemplar in being active in her community and supporting the causes she held dear. She served as secretary and treasurer for Catholic Daughters. She helped students obtain scholarships from the Republican Women. She was an altar woman for funerals at American Martyrs Church.
Her influence on the lives she touched will last for years to come, and she will be greatly missed.
Her vigil will be on Monday, November 13, from 4-7 p.m. at Lighthouse Memorials and Receptions – Rice Center in Torrance. Her funeral will be on Tuesday, November 14, at 9 a.m. at American Martyrs Catholic Church. Her burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, and the reception will be at Olive Garden: 6000 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230.