John West, Jr.

John James West, Jr.

GREENVILLE - Mr. John James West, Jr. 81, of Greenville, passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

A private service will be held Sunday at the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel.

John was born on July 3, 1938 to Ruth J. West and John J. West, Sr. of Beaufort County. His family moved to Durham, NC in 1948. He graduated from Durham High School in 1956. John earned a B.S. degree in Business from East Carolina College in 1960 and is also a 1981 graduate of the Executive Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After one year of employment at Leggett & Myers, he joined Wachovia where over the next 36 years, he held various management positions. In Durham he served as a branch manager, commerce lending officer, marketing officer, and retail banking manager. In 1977, he transferred to Jacksonville as city executive and Sr-Vice President. He finished his long career has Community Development officer for the North Carolina Bank in 1997 and retired in Greenville. John was known throughout the industry as a very competitive person in the markets he served and a results oriented banker. He always felt that Wachovians were the most dedicated and motivated staff members in the banking industry.

In Durham, where his career began, he was involved in the Jaycees, Kiwanis, and the Durham Chamber of Commerce. The chamber recognized him as their first honorary life member for outstanding work in the membership area. He was very active in the American Institute of Banking, serving as President of the Durham Chapter and as a delegate to the National Conference in Buffalo, New York. He also taught several courses throughout his early career. John also served as a general campaign chairman of the American Cancer Society as a board member of the Durham Chapter.

In Jacksonville, John served on the Economic Development Board, General Campaign chair of the Onslow County United Way, President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Pirate Club, and President of the Coastal Community College Foundation for two terms.

In Greenville, John was a board member, treasurer and general campaign chairman of the Pitt County United Way. He was president of the Pitt County Cancer Society and served a four year term on the North Carolina State Board. He also served as president of the Pitt County Chamber of Commerce and President of the Boys & Girls Club of Pitt County. He was an avid Rotarian, where he served in both Jacksonville and Greenville in various offices. He was president Greenville Rotary Club (Evening Club) and continued as an active member prior to his death.

John was a member of Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church for many years. John served on the Finance Committee as a member and Vice-Chair and Chairman. He and Betty enjoyed particularly the Douglas Sunday School Class.

John was a sports enthusiast beginning at an early age. He played basketball and tennis at Durham High School. In tennis, he was ranked #1 in the state in doubles and as high as #5 in singles. As a junior, he won the North Carolina High School Championship in doubles and represented North Carolina in the National Jaycees Tournament held in Oak Park, Illinois. At ECC, John played #2 tennis singles for 2 years and #1 his final two years. His senior year, he won the North State Conference Championships in both singles and doubles. During his college career, the team was undefeated in conference matches, winning thirty plus matches. He served as president of ECC Intramural Council, which coordinated various sports among the student body.

After graduation, John continued his love and support for ECC and his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. As a student, John was involved in the process of bringing national fraternities and fraternity housing to ECC. Through the efforts of several brothers, ECC went from local to national fraternities with housing within an 18 month period. John served as President of Lambda Chi Chapter as a student. He also served as a treasurer of the ECC Inter-Fraternity Council.

John continued to support ECU athletics. He was a member of the Pitt-Greenville Pirate Club and member of the Henry Van Saint Society. He was a board member of the ECU Foundation and a member of the ECU Chancellor Society. Over the years, John served on various committees at the University. He was a life member of the ECU Alumni Association.

John was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Lorraine West Palmer; and son, John "Trey" James, West, III.

He is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Martha "Betty" Love West. Their relationship started in the fourth grade in Durham where a long friendship as neighbors began. John always stated Betty had all the talent in the family as evidenced by her artistic talent as a school teacher. Also surviving, a son, Stephen L. West and wife, Lindsay Peeler West of Greenville; daughter-in-law, Holly Hovey West of Durham; six grandchildren, Kaitlyn, John IV, and Logan, all of Durham and Emma, Olivia, and Jackson "Jack", all of Greenville; sister, Cyd West Copeland of Durham; and several loved nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pitt County Animal Shelter, 4550 County Home Road, Greenville, NC 27858; or to Soul to Sole Mission, c/o John Fagala, P.O.Box 2521, Monroe, NC 28111.

Arrangements by Wilkerson Funeral Home & Crematory, Greenville. Online condolences at