Keith West - August 05, 2013
Keith Donald West of Imperial, Neb., died Aug. 5, 2013, in Imperial.
He was born Aug. 11, 1941, in Imperial, Neb., to Daniel Andrew and Margaret Mary (Campbell) West.
He attended grade school at Eden School, south of Wauneta, Neb., and graduated in 1958 from Wauneta High School.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Oct. 29, 1963, and served until his discharge on Oct. 12, 1967. He served during the Vietnam Conflict and served most of his time on the USS Intrepid.
Among his military experiences he was part of the recovery team for astronaut Scott Carpenter and his Project Mercury space capsule in which the Intrepid was selected as the principal ship.
He designed the pneumatic/hydraulic system for the first artificial heart designed for permanent implantation, the Jarvik 7, which was invented by Dr. Robert Jarvik.
Keith enjoyed drafting and designed several robots during his lifetime. He was also an industrial electrician.
Some of his hobbies included fishing, photography and woodworking.
Survivors include sister, JoAnne Rowley of Imperial; sister, Karen Weiss (Bud) of Hastings; and brother, Jon West of Stoutland, Mo.; nieces, Deb Erickson (Wayne) of Hastings, Linda Rader of Hastings, Gayla Rowley of Red Lion, Pa., Dana Sorensen of Imperial and Laurie Conklin of Grand Island; nephews, Mitch Weiss of Hastings and Dwight Rowley of Imperial; step-niece, Rose Yeager of Stoutland, Mo. and step-nephew, Norm Lock of Eldon, Mo.; and special longtime friend, Kenny Edwards of Imperial.
Keith chose cremation and no funeral services.
Liewer Funeral Home of Imperial was in charge of arrangements.