Abstract

Arnold E. West died June 18, 1998. He was 71 years old. Arnie was a true westerner. Born in Coalville, Utah, on Friday the 13th in May 1927, he spent his early years on a ranch that straddled the Utah-Wyoming line south of Evanston, Wyoming. To attend high school he left the ranch to live with grandparents in Coalville and graduated with the class of 1945. He joined the U.S. Navy for a four-year enlistment and served as a signalman plying the East Coast from New York to the Caribbean. Arnie disliked the regimentation and loss of freedom of the military. He was happy to return to the west. Arnie and Louise Moore were married in 1948, and he began college at Brigham Young University that autumn. Their first child was born in 1949. Arnie's two most pronounced characteristics were his exuberant energy and his non-procrastination. He constantly performed tasks before peers understood the requests. He always filed his income tax returns the day his W-2 forms arrived. While attending the university, Arnie worked as an attendant at the state mental hospital. His ability to cross one eye at a time was learned from an inmate. He was elected to an honorary fraternity for his exceptionally high grades. Upon graduation in 1952, he was interviewed for employment and hired as a Phillips Petroleum Company geologist by Orlo Childs (later AAPG president). Arnie worked for Orlo for more than five years. In 1960 Arnie and his family transferred to Denver, Colorado and located in Golden. The fit was superb. He even obtained welcome mats with the words "The Golden Wests." Other than a two-year stint in Phillips' home office at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Arnie and family were "at home." During his 34 years with Phillips, he did field work in the Glacier Bay area, Alaska; collected samples for microfossil analysis along stream beds near Centralia, Washington; measured phosphate outcrops in Idaho; did photogeology, plane table surveying, and field checking in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, and Montana; served as Wyoming area geologist and supervisor; was Rocky Mountain district geologist; and became chief geologist for the Rocky Mountain region. Assigning priority becomes critical to dedicated professionals. Arnie maintained a proper balance. His family was always first. He was a committed Mormon and taught Sunday school and youth classes throughout his life. He was frequently asked to present congregational talks and usually interspersed some geologic reference on such occasions. Arnie was especially interested in archeology of Central America. After retirement he taught himself the Spanish language. At times he used Spanish while recovering from the anesthesia after surgery. Several years ago, Arnie developed skin cancer. Many small tumors were removed from his head and face. One such invaded his right ear. Subsequently, he underwent a delicate operation at the Sloan-Kettering Institute in New York City, but the cancer was not to be denied. Arnie's battle with cancer was long and valiant, and he was subjected to great pain. Louise had to summon strength she didn't know she had. Arnie is survived by his wife; two sons, Randy and Jeff; a daughter, Laura Northcott; and ten grandchildren; his sixth great-grandchild was born on the day he died. Arnie's love of the outdoor west permeated all who knew him--his family, his church colleagues, and his professional associates. We all will miss him.

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