James Edward West, Sr. 75 of Stone Mountain, GA formerly of Alliance, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan passed on January 7, 2021. James was born May 7, 1945 in Gilbertown, Alabama. He was the proud son of Frank and Desma (Kirksey) Hawkins and Roscoe West, Sr.
At a young age one of his ambitions was to attend West Point Military Academy. He decided to turn down a full scholarship, he instead joined the reserves while in high school. After graduating from Alliance High School in 1964, he moved to Detroit, Michigan and secured his first full time job with the Chrysler Corporation. Later he took the civil service exam to work in law enforcement. He served as a Deputy Sheriff for 26 years. In 1996 he retired from both the Wayne County Sheriff Department and as a military reservist.
While in Detroit, Michigan, his career allowed him to meet and make friends with many celebrities: former presidents, politicians, singers, writers, and boxing greats. He was once a special guest on The Dick Cavett show which aired nationally. Not only did James travel for his job but he also had a passion for travel, meeting people and exploring new cultures as a hobby. Three of his most memorable trips were to Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa for his honeymoon, going to Beijing, China where he walked parts of the Great Wall of China, and Cairo,Egypt where he witnessed the great pyramids and rode a camel.
One of his greatest passions was his family and relatives. No matter how busy he was, his calendar included attending the Kirksey-Young-Hawkins Reunion in Alliance, Ohio and spending Labor Day Weekend with his family, siblings, nieces and nephews in Detroit, Windsor, Canada or Atlanta, Georgia. He also had a great love for his church family at Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, GA and all his neighbors in Stone Mountain, GA.
James was preceded in death by his parents. The year 2020 was a very difficult year for James as he mourned the loss of his stepmother LeeDressa Hawkins and son James West, Jr. in March 2020, as well has his rescued dog “Duke.” He was also preceded in death by his step-son Christopher Ogletree, one sister Maxine (West) Johnson, step sister Claudia DuBose, and four brothers Sylvester “Fuzzy” Kirksey, Frank Jr., Larry and Marvin Hawkins.
He leaves to cherish his memories; his devoted wife Virginia West, a daughter Tracie West of Detroit, Michigan, step-daughters Felicia King, Atlanta, GA and Ashley Marshall (Charles) of Hyattsville, MD; three sisters: Joyce ( Rev. Bobby) Williams and Margaret Hawkins of Alliance, Ohio and Reda (Jacques) Pierre of Atlanta, GA; six brothers; Chester (Barbara) Kirksey of Rowlett, Texas, Michael (Cynthia) Hawkins of Ormond Beach, Florida, Roscoe West and Robert Hawkins of Alliance, Ohio, Christopher (Roberta) West of Lexington, Ohio and Bradley (Denise) West of Richmond Heights, Ohio and four step-sisters: Ella Pierson, Ernestine (Douglas) Marsh, Josephine (Leon) Dozier of Alabama, and Virginia Everett of Los Angeles, CA; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in Alliance, Ohio at a later date to commemorate his life. In lue of flowers your expressions of sympathy may be in the form of donating to the American Kidney Fund; kidneyfund.org/donate. Select “Give in honor and memorial of James West. Enter [email protected] to be notified of the gift. You may also share condolences at sommervillefuneralservices.com