Memorial for Don West Held at Town Toyota Center
Family and friends of radio personality Don West gathered at Town Toyota Center to celebrate the larger than life showman Saturday.
Chapel of the Valley helped organize the memorial, enlisting help from family and friends of West to put on one of the first memorials held in the hockey rink. The venue was fitting for a man who was known to be confident, loud, and larger than life.
West was born on June 20, 1963 in Chicago, Illinois. Family members say he was a natural showman and frequently used his photographic memory to share his love for sports, statistics, and history.
He would eventually leave home for Purdue University, where he earned a degree in sports broadcasting.
In 1993, West eventually started working at the Shop at Home Network, where his captivating personality shone through and made sales on collectibles such as baseball cards, beanie babies, and Pokémon cards skyrocket.
Saturday Night Live even parodied West's iconic sales pitch style not once, but twice.
He eventually moved on to TNA Wrestling in 2001, where he worked as a wrestling commentator.
In 2012, he and his family moved from Tennessee to the Wenatchee Valley, earning a job as Director of Sales and Marketing with the Wenatchee Wild Hockey Team.
West later joined the KPQ team in 2016, hosting the Don West Show on KPQ between 2-5 p.m. An article from Connor with KW3 describes what it was like to work with the legend at KPQ.
Wenatchee Wild General Manager and Head Coach Bliss Littler and his wife Gretchen Littler were close friends with West and his wife Terri West.
“He made every room greater when he was in it,” Bliss Littler said. “Also a bit louder.”
The Littler family came to the Wenatchee Valley around the same time West did, and was with West as he battled with cancer.
Gretchen Littler recalled the time when she and Bliss first met West at the restaurant El Porton.
“He was all energetic, sweating, face bright red, telling stories,” Gretchen Littler said. “When we got in the car, I asked my husband ‘who is that guy’? He said google it, so I looked him up. I just enjoyed his energy every time I [went] out to see my husband and during the games, he brought a lot to the [Wild] organization.”
In June of 2021, West announced that he was diagnosed with a lymphoma of the brain, and began 8 weeks of chemotherapy.
A few months later, West announced that his cancer was in remission. However, his cancer resurfaced in January of 2022.
After undergoing another round of aggressive treatments, West received hospice care at his home. Finally, on December 30, 2022, West's battle with cancer ended, passing away at 59 years old.