Peter West of Teaticket, who spent many hours of his retirement on the stage in community theater productions, died November 10 at Bridges by EPOCH at Mashpee. He was 85.
The son of Alfred and Hilda West, he was born in Sunderland, England—three days after his twin sister, Joan.
He graduated with honors from Sheffield University, earning a PhD in chemistry. Dr. West’s photo-chemistry work with chemist George Porter, who at the time was a professor at Sheffield and starting his work on flash photolysis, helped Dr. Porter to receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1967.
Dr. West immigrated to the United States in 1960, accepting postdoctoral appointments at the University of California and the California Institute of Technology. He moved to Massachusetts to work at Dow Chemical’s Eastern Research Lab.
After his move to the East Coast, he met Bette Johnson, whom he married. The couple lived for 38 years in Wellesley.
He served as president of the Wellesley Players and was a frequent actor in their stage productions over many years, and also was a member of Town Meeting, the Wellesley Club and First Congregational Church of Wellesley, for which he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.
For the rest of his professional career, Dr. West worked in research and development at Dennison, Itech and LePages; after he retired in 2000, he and his wife moved to Falmouth. Here he became a member of Cape Cod Curling Club, a volunteer at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and acted in many plays with Falmouth Theatre Guild, at Cotuit Center for the Arts, and with Woods Hole Theater Company.
In an Enterprise review of “Born Yesterday,” a 1946 play by Garson Kanin staged by Woods Hole Theater Company in October 2004, Dr. West participated for the first time with WHTC in the role of Senator Hedges, and was said to play him with “dignified precision.” At that time, Dr. West had been doing community theater for about 30 years and his favorite roles included Colonel Pickering in “My Fair Lady,” Sir Joseph Porter KGB in “H.M.S. Pinafore,” and Mr. Lundie in “Brigadoon.” He had most recently appeared in “Guys and Dolls” with Falmouth Theatre Guild.
His kudos for a June 2005 opening night show at Cotuit Center for the Arts of the Oscar Wilde comedy “An Ideal Husband” were: “Peter West plays the scowling Lord Caversham with a well-done British upper-class drawl.”
Additional pastimes were outings with family and friends to fish and explore local beaches in his boat, as well as family trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, Grand Cayman, Bermuda, and bareboating in the British Virgin Islands.
Mr. West’s English accent and manners remained with him throughout his life.
He leaves his wife, Bette A. West; two children, Pamela Mooney and her husband, Jim Mooney, and Steven West and his wife, Cristina West; his grandchildren, Brandon and Morgan Mooney and Myles and Sebi West; and extended family.
A memorial service will be tomorrow, Saturday, November 20, at 1 PM at First Congregational Church of Falmouth, 68 Main Street.