Iowa City Press-Citizen
Iowa City, Iowa
June 5, 2008
OBITUARY - ELEANOR L. (BOSWORTH) WEST
July 13, 1918 - June 1, 2008
Eleanor L. WEST, 89, of 350 Dublin Dr., died Sunday, June 1, 2009 at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City after a brief illness.
Visitation will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 9, at the Gay and Ciha Funeral Home in Iowa City. Funeral
services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 10, at the First United Methodist Church with Reverend Paul AKIN
officiating. A luncheon for family and friends will be served immediately following the services. Sunday parking
ordinance will be in effect for the streets around the church. On-line condolences may be sent for her family through the
web at www.gayandciha.com.
Eleanor was born in Tingley, Iowa on July 13, 1918 to Ernie and Eva BOSWORTH as the second
of four children. After graduating from Tingley High School in 1936, she attended the American Institute of Business
(ABA) in Des Moines, receiving her diploma in 1939. Eleanor married Pearl L. WEST on March 15, 1940.
After moving to Iowa City in 1941, the couple founded WEST Music Company. Eleanor worked as the store's bookkeeper for
many years. Her well-organized efforts were important in helping build the family business. During those years, she loved
to entertain by hosting dinner parties for friends and business associates. She was always personable, fun loving,
energetic, danced a lively "Charleston," and was an outstanding cook. In later years, she and Pearl traveled extensively,
partly for business, but mostly for their shared pleasure.
Eleanor enjoyed telling about delivering milk on her bicycle as a child (a precarious venture while balancing glass milk
bottles) and working as a switchboard operator for Tingley's phone company. After moving to Iowa City, she was involved
in numerous organizations including: the United Methodist Women -- Circle 1, P.E.O. Chapter E, Music Study Club, Pilot
Club, the Alpha Music Group, and Project Green. She played golf over the years, and at age 89, was still an avid bridge
player, enjoying Tuesday afternoon bridge at the Elks Club and her Friday afternoon bridge group at Melrose Meadows.
Survivors include a daughter Shari FREEMAN (Gaylen) of Carlsbad, CA; a son, Stephen (Victoria) of Iowa City; and three
grandchildren, Andy WEST (Megan) of Boston, MA; Megan WEST of Seattle, WA; and Ryan WEST of New York City and Iowa City.
She will be very much missed by her children and her grandchildren who knew her as "Nana." Her parents, husband, two
brothers, and a sister preceded her in death.
The family requests that those who wish to make a donation in Eleanor's
name direct their memorials to the First Methodist Church, U of I Foundation (for Hancher Auditorium) or the WEST Family
Music Education Scholarship Fund.
Cedar Rapids Gazette
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
June 8, 2008
WEST MUSIC MATRIARCH LEAVES LONG LEGACY IN DEATH
IOWA CITY, IA - Eleanor WEST, co-founder of West Music and avid cook, traveler and patron of the arts, cared passionately
for her friends and had an eye for organization, those who knew her said.
WEST died at Mercy Iowa City Sunday. She was
She had a large stroke the week before, her daughter Shari FREEMAN, 67, said, though FREEMAN was not sure of the
ultimate cause of death.
Born July 13, 1918, in the small, south-central Iowa town of Tingley as the second of four
children, WEST attended the American Institute of Business in Des Moines in 1939 after graduating from High School in
Tingley. A year later she married Paul WEST, and in 1941 they moved to Iowa City and later founded WEST Music, pairing
her meticulous monetary skill with his love for music to craft a company that later expanded into six Midwest locations,
plus an on-line presence.
"She was very good at organizing the finances," FREEMAN, now of Carlsbad, Calif., said. "We
would go after school and lick the envelopes because she did all the invoices."
While operating the business, the WESTs
befriended many in the music industry, FREEMAN said, and this helped turn her mother into an avid, frequent entertainer.
She often hosted dinner parties buoyed by her culinary skill.
"She was a great cook, she loved to experiment," FREEMAN
The connections made while at West Music prompted Eleanor and Paul WEST to travel extensively. Their son, Stephen WEST,
62, chairman of WEST Music, said they traveled to Japan, Australia and the Galapagos Islands, among other places. Last
fall, she visited Costa Rica.
"I just think she had a real zest for life," he said. He described his mother as "very
carrying and extremely energetic throughout her whole life."
Both of her children said West always was willing to help
One of those friends, Helen CHADIMA, said, "She loved people, she liked playing bridge and playing golf."
CHADIMA is a former chairwoman of the UI dance department said.
WEST also enjoyed attending plays and concerts at
Hancher Auditorium and Riverside Theatre's Shakespeare performances.
In addition to her two children, Eleanor is
survived by her grandchildren Andy, Megan and Ryan WEST.
Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. on Tuesday at First
United Methodist Church, 214 E. Jefferson St.
Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009
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