1963-2016 Amy Rose West
The family of Amy Rose West (née Gurska) mourns her passing on March 18th, 2016, following a long illness. Amy was a beloved wife, mother, sister, friend, and church youth group director.
Born in Orange, NJ, on August 3rd, 1963, Amy spent her early childhood in Maplewood, NJ. She moved to Cincinnati, OH at age 10, and later attended and graduated from Greenhills High School. She was a talented musician and played clarinet in the Greenhills H.S. Band, where she was the school’s first female drum major. Amy’s love of music was an important part of who she was for her entire life. She met her husband Dave West while they were both members of the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Marching Band. Amy was an active member of Tau Beta Sigma national honorary band sorority. Amy served in leadership positions in the U.C. Band from her sophomore year through senior year, eventually serving as U.C. Band Council President during her senior year. Amy passed her love of music on to all three of her children (both daughters were drum majors at Bob Jones H.S. and her son was the band captain for James Clemens H.S.). Amy played clarinet and flute in community theater pit orchestras early in her marriage, and she played occasional solos in church, primarily on flute, for the rest of her life.
Amy earned a B.S. in Psychology from U.C. in 1985. Amy and Dave were married in Cincinnati on September 28th, 1985. Amy and Dave moved several times during the first half of their marriage, living in Cape Canaveral, FL; San Diego, CA; Reston, VA; Bay Village, OH; Bel Air, MD; and Hilliard, OH. Before starting a family in the early 90’s, Amy worked for Brevard Community College in Melbourne, FL as a testing specialist; for the National Contract Management Association in Vienna, VA as their certification administrator; and for the American Society for Personnel Administration (later the Society for Human Resource Management) in Alexandria, VA as their college program coordinator.
In the mid-90’s, Amy and Dave were founding members of a new Episcopal Church, St. Nicholas of Myra, on the west side of Columbus, OH. Amy served on the very first vestry of the new church and also sang in its tiny choir (Amy and Dave often made up half of the choir’s voices!).
In August 2000, Amy and her family moved to Madison, AL, where they soon became members of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Amy was an active Girl Scout leader in Madison for several years. In 2012, Amy answered a calling to be the first Band Booster President of the brand new James Clemens High School Band. She served in this role for the first two years of the new organization and established many traditions that continue today. The logo of the JCHS Band was designed by Amy.
From September 2001 until January 2016, just two months before her death, Amy taught Sunday School at St. Matthew’s Episcopal. When Amy’s youngest child entered kindergarten in 2003, Amy accepted the position of Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) Director for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Amy was devoted to the youth of St. Matthew’s, serving as their youth group leader right up until the month before her death. She established many enduring traditions for the group, including a series of mission trips to impoverished areas of Tennessee.
Amy West was preceded in death by her mother Alice Gurska (née Hirsch) and her father Gustav Gurska, Jr. Amy is survived by her husband David B. West, daughters Olivia F. West and Madeline G. West, and son Peter H. West, all of Madison, AL. She is also survived by her sister Barbara F. Williams (née Gurska) and brother-in-law Gary R. Williams of Cincinnati, OH; sister Phyllis M. Volan (née Gurska) and brother-in-law Michael J. Volan of Cincinnati, OH; sister Nancy L. Gurska of Cincinnati, OH; nephew Robert J. Williams and his wife Shannon E. Williams (née Coughlin) of Cincinnati, OH; niece Kathleen R. Dumont (née Williams), her husband Dustin R. Dumont, and their daughter (Amy’s great-niece) Alice R. Dumont, of Cincinnati, OH; niece Renée E. Williams of Cincinnati, OH; nephew Charles G. Volan of Cincinnati, OH; nephew Gustav M. Volan of Cincinnati, OH; father-in-law Charles A. West of Canton, OH; sister-in-law Deborah L. Loewenstein (née West) and brother-in-law Stewart A. Loewenstein of Denver, CO; and brother-in-law James A. West of Lynnwood, WA.
Visitation for Amy West was held Thursday, March 24th, 2016, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 786 Hughes Road, Madison, AL. The funeral service was held immediately after the visitation at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. (www.laughlinservice.com)
The family suggests that donations be made in Amy’s memory to the Russell Hill Cancer Foundation; visit https://www.russelhill.org/donate/.