In Memoriam: John H. West
John H. West, past president and owner of Von Senden Company and a partner at distributor HDS Marketing (PPAI 103825), passed away on July 9 after a brief illness. He was 90.
West’s business career as a sales executive led him to becoming president and owner of the Von Senden company, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based distributor founded in 1891. The company sold a wide range of products, including Cross and Parker pens, Zippo lighters, Hazel folders, die-struck medallions and more to clients that included Gulf Oil, National Steel, PPG and Kelly-Springfield Tire Company. He sold the company to HDS Marketing in 2000, where he continued as a partner.
He became involved with the Three Rivers Advertising Specialty Association (TRASA) when it was first established in 1991, and served on its Legal Committee. In 2005, the regional association recognized West as a TRASA Pioneer at its awards program, and added his name to the association’s Pioneer Plaque.
Born in Pittsburgh, West developed an interest in Pennsylvania’s Ligonier Valley after meeting his wife, Vernie Stanislaw, of Ligonier. He founded the Ligonier County Market in 1976, became a life member of the Fort Ligonier Association and served on its board of directors, and he also served on the boards of the Ligonier Valley Library and Ligonier Camp and Conference Center.
West served on the Pike Run Country Club Board, was a member of Ligonier Lodge #331 Free and Accepted Masons for more than 50 years, was a member of the National Watch and Clock Collectors and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. West and his wife have a named fund in the Ligonier Valley Endowment.
Preceded in death by his parents and his brother, George, West is survived by his wife of 65 years; their sons: John West and his wife, Terri, Timothy West and his wife, Wendy, and Ned West and his wife, Patty; and six grandchildren: Hannah, Ian, Hunter, Bonnie, Charlie and Holly.
A service to celebrate West’s life will be held Saturday at 11 am at St. Michael's of the Valley Episcopal Church in Rector. A reception will follow in the Smith House.