It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Richard Brinton West. He passed away at the age
of 72 in Yuma, Arizona on December 11, 2019, due to a sudden heart attack.
Richard was born in Louisville, Kentucky on November 29, 1947. He was one of four siblings. He and
his sister Carole were adopted to John and Alice West where they grew up in a prosperous and
adventurous home. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Richard’s love
for the service men and women came from growing up in a Navy home. His father, Captain John West,
was in the U.S. Navy and his stations took the family all over the country and even to Puerto Rico. He
graduated high school in 1968 at Kellam High School in Norfolk, Virginia where he excelled in drama
theater, football, track, and the choir. Upon graduation he furthered his studies at Dixie College, and then
transferred to Brigham Young University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and later earned his
Master’s degree in Business Administration. His love for education was founded watching his mother,
Alice. He stayed in the Salt Lake Valley after graduation, and began his journey in education teaching and
coaching at local junior high and high schools.
He met the love of his life, Dawn Audrey Norton West, and married her in June of 1983 and were then
sealed for time and all eternity. Soon after marriage their adventure brought them to Yuma, Arizona where
Richard took a teaching and coaching job at Yuma High School. One winter in Yuma and they were both
sold. Richard taught and coached in the Yuma Union High School District for 13 years. He helped start
the Vista Alternative Program, which led him to being nominated and awarded Teacher of the Year in
1993. He then took his educational adventure to Somerton School District. Later he found his educational
home as an Administrator in Gadsden School District where he enjoyed many years of service. Upon
retirement from Gadsden, they honored him by naming a school gymnasium after him at Southwest
Junior High School. Retirement was not easy, and he soon found himself as the Director of Harvest
Preparatory Academy where he finished his journey in education.
In his leisure time he enjoyed yard work, cleaning, close friends, and most of all family. His love and
passion for education and coaching was demonstrated daily. He had a true passion for teaching Sunday
school for his church. He was one of a kind; a man of great character, integrity, spirit, fight,
determination, encouragement, teamwork, and most of all love. He loved his family beyond measure. He
was dedicated to his work and family. He cared deeply for all who he came into contact with and would
not leave anyone without learning their name. He is preceded in death by his loving parents John Norman
West and Alice Brinton West, sister Vicki Nichols, and brother Frank Stroud. He leaves behind a sister
Carole West, his adoring wife Dawn (Norton) West, loving children Alycia Joyce Bennett (Matthew),
Richard Cameron West, Brooke Swenson (Blake), BreAnne Pugh (A.J.) and Brandie West (Jeff Welsing),
and his prized grandchildren Tristan Tyler West (20), Addison Jane West (18), Lilly May West (16), Lael
Hugh Swenson (7), Brinton Axle Pugh (6), Braxton Michael Pugh (5), Liam Richard Swenson (4),
Pierson Blake Swenson (3) and Presley Jakob Swenson (3).
Memorial services will be held in his honor on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at 11:00 am at the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 4300 W 16th St Yuma, AZ.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Brinton West, please visit our floral store.