Elaine Marie (Schmid) West, 91, of Lee’s Summit, MO, passed into the arms of her loving Lord and Savior on August 21, 2020, to join family members who preceded her. Elaine was born to parents Gottfried and Sophie (Wachter) Schmid who separately immigrated to the United States from Switzerland and married in Kansas City, MO. At the time of her birth on January 18, 1929, her parents lived in the Martin City area. Farming was her father’s profession and that soon took them to a farm in the Hickman Mills area. Elaine’s sister, Fredrika (Fredi) was born 16 months after her and they were always very close. The farm in Hickman Mills was next to the Truman farm and Elaine spoke about carrying lunch to her father’s farm hands who were putting up hay for Harry Truman. The family moved to Lone Jack, MO, at the end of her grade school days. Elaine’s high school days included playing the bass drum in the marching band – even though she was always very petite. During her time at Lone Jack, she met the love of her life, James D West.
Jim and Elaine were married in May 1948 for 48 years until his unexpected death in 1996. Their union blessed them with five children – Cynthia (1949), Connie (1950), Daniel (1955), Charlene (1958) and Carolyn (1964). When her parents moved from Lone Jack to 80 acres on 291south highway in Lee’s Summit, Jim and Elaine built a home on the corner acre (1953).They lived here until 1976 when they purchased acerage and built a home in Centerview, MO. They moved back to Lee’s Summit in 1987, to be closer to grandchildren and family activities. Elaine was first and foremost a wife and mother, and she focused on caring for her family and keeping her home meticulously clean. She ensured that her family members had clean, starched, ironed and mended clothing, and she had dinner on the table every evening when Jim came home. Elaine was an active PTA mom, 4-H leader, and chauffeur for all five children. She sold real estate briefly to earn money for the home built in Centerview. As her parents aged, she also became the care giver for them. In addition to her family activities, Elaine participated in many social/service groups throughout the years including: the Jaycee Wives, The Kansas City Swiss Society, Ladies Club in Centerview, The Bingo Girls in Lee’s Summit, “Grandma Club,” and the “Golden Girls.” Many of the friendships they formed during high school and their early 20’s lasted a life time. Elaine loved to host gatherings and serve homemade ice cream, German chocolate cake, and many other sweet specialties. Elaine enjoyed camping and canoe trips with the family on Missouri lakes and rivers. She traveled to various destinations in the USA and made two trips oversees to Switzerland to visit relatives and see her parents’ childhood homes. Jim’s profession as an electrician with IBEW Local 124 offered the family a wonderful facility for summer picnics and swimming at the electrician’s pool.
Elaine was a devout Christian woman, and she made sure that her children got to Sunday school and church. Over the years she attended: Hickman Mills Christian Church, Lone Jack Christian Church, Lee’s Summit Christian Church, Greenwood Christian Church, Centerview Methodist Church, Northside Christian Church in Warrensburg, Aldersgate United Methodist in Lee’s Summit, and Fellowship of Greenwood. Her church family was very important to her. Elaine’s way to serve the Lord was by reaching out to others who needed a word of encouragement. She did this by making hospital/nursing home visits, as well as sending greeting cards for all types of occasions.
Elaine demonstrated true unconditional love to her husband, five children, 14 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren, and her legacy will continue through them. Through the years she attended countless athletic events, dance recitals, piano recitals, music concerts and graduation ceremonies. Her “love language” was baking for her friends and family. As the family grew, celebrations would be for 50+ family members. For each birthday celebration, she baked the birthday recipient their favorite dessert, with cheesecake, German chocolate cake and Red Velvet cake being the most requested. Using her antique, cylindrical, metal loaf pans, she would make banana bread throughout the year so she would always have one available for the grandchild or great-grandchildren to receive at special events. She baked over 80 loaves of banana bread in one year. An “Elaine West Cookbook” was printed in 2014 to share her recipes with family members of all ages. Recipes included 40 favorites including banana salad, German potato salad, dinner rolls, and cinnamon rolls.
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents in 1981 and 1988; a half-brother Georgie Boss; her husband Jim in 1996; daughter Cynthia (Cindy) in 2003; and son-in-law Randy Brown in 2012.
Survivors include daughter Connie Brown; son Daniel West and wife Sherry; daughter Charlene Chaffin and husband Jim; daughter Carolyn (Carrie) Coffman and husband Darrell; son-in- law Mike Ramey; 14 grandchildren (spouses): Cinnamon Ramey Staponski (Joel); Randy Brown II (Tammy); Chad Ramey (Kelli); Curt Chaffin (Kate), Cassandra Chaffin Cameron (Justin); Brandon West; Adam West (Jessica); Cami Brown Reiss (Tres); Tyler West; Cali Brown Oberlechner (Paul); Cassie West Morrison (Zack); Cara Coffman Peppers (Todd); Drew Coffman; Caitlin Chaffin Jimenez (Juan); 19 Great Grandchildren: Connor Staponski, Rebekah Brown, Carson Staponski, Thomas Brown, Rowan Ramey, Lincoln Ramey, Tresten Reiss, Cadi Reiss, Hailey Chaffin, Morgan Cameron, Everett Ramey, Colton Chaffin, Trenten Elijah Reiss, Devin Cameron, Celine Oberlechner, Ceanna Oberlechner, Cavendar Morrison, Chamberlynne Morrison, and Camryn Peppers (with three additional great grandchildren on the way); sister Fredi Necessary, Suwanee, GA; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews in the United States, Switzerland and Germany.
The West family extends a special thank-you to her faithful friends who visited and supported her until her death; to the IBEW Local 124 and office staff for their assistance and support to Elaine with medical insurance and retirement benefits; and to the staff of John Knox Village Care Center.
A celebration of life service for Elaine will be Sunday evening, August 23, 2020 at 6:30 PM (to be held outside) at Fellowship Church-Greenwood, 1061 West Main Street, Greenwood, MO 64034. Private burial for family on August 24 at Lone Jack Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are recommended to:
Dr. Cindy Ramey Math Scholarship
UCM Alumni Foundation
Smiser Alumni Center
PO Box 800
Warrensburg, MO 64093-5299