Sleeping peacefully, Elsie Barbara Denhardt West passed away Jan. 1 at Geer Nursing in Canaan, Connecticut.
Born Oct. 26, 1921, in New York City, she was the daughter of David and Barbara Denhardt. Through a beloved Sunday school teacher, she spent summers in Sheffield caring for young children. She graduated from the former Sheffield High School in 1939 and was valedictorian of her class. Upon graduation, Elsie lived and worked at Fairview Hospital. In 1942, Elsie married Ronald “Bud” West. They shared 60 years together before his passing in 2002.
Elsie’s true love was, first and foremost, the First Congregational Church, Old Parish Church, in Sheffield, where her dedication to her faith can be summed up with borrowed words… “We are born, we live, and we die within the arms of our loving God.” During her 77 years as a member of Old Parish Church, she was a Sunday school teacher, superintendent of the Sunday school and women’s fellowship president, along with activities on numerous boards and committees. Elsie was also an active member of Sheffield Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, for over 65 years. Through Bud’s musical involvement with the Melha Shrine’s, Elsie became a “Shrine Lady” and an active supporter of the charity.
She is survived by her son David F. West and wife Barbara of Sheffield; her daughter, Diane M. Smith, and husband David Smith Sr. of Sheffield; and son Donald S. West. She leaves five grandchildren: Richard and Andrew West, Danielle Pedretti, Kimberly Lavoie and Kenneth Smith; and seven great-grandchildren: Nicholas, Christina and Olivia Pedretti, Matthew and Benjamin Lavoie, and Megan and Tyler Smith.
The funeral for the late Elsie B. West will be held Saturday, Jan. 6, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Sheffield, conducted by Rev. Jill Graham, pastor. Burial will follow at Sheffield Center Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday, Jan. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. at FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME in Great Barrington. Memorial contributions may be made to either the Shriners Children’s Hospital or the First Congregational Church of Sheffield to benefit the sanctuary through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to the family, visit https://www.finnertyandstevens.com.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Geer Nursing for their compassionate and loving care extended to Elsie.