Catholic 02

Jimmy Rayburn West

May 1, 1940 ~ March 13, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Jimmy West Obituary

Jimmy Rayburn West, 83, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee, passed away peacefully on March 13, 2024, surrounded by his family, following a brief illness.

He was born to Charles and Lena West of Tuscaloosa, Alabama on May 1, 1940. He was the second youngest out of nine children. Jim attended Holt High School in Tuscaloosa where he was a star football player. After high school, he went on to enlist in the Marine Corps, where he served two years in Reconnaissance.

After finishing his time in the service, Jim met the love of his life, Sandra Clements West, at the local bowling alley and they married three months later.

Jim and Sandra moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1966, where they raised their three daughters. He began work as a salesman before moving into business for himself, where he owned and operated two convenient stores for over forty years. Some of Jim’s favorite visitors to the store were Charlie Rich, Elvis Presley, and Red West.


As a natural born athlete, Jim loved sports. He was an avid fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide, he was a pitcher for a men’s fast pitch softball team, and he coached little league baseball. He and his wife enjoyed many outdoor activities such as bike riding, water skiing, fishing, and hunting. They also loved to travel which led to the purchase of a lake house on the Little Red River and their beach house in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, which was his favorite destination.

Despite his many obligations and activities, Jim always made time for his family.

He loved to go to his grandchildren’s sporting events and spark their imagination with scary stories about the “monster man”. He especially loved to play cards whenever he had the chance, saying “You want to give me 5 dollars?”

Always leading by example, he taught his family a strong work ethic. Jim was a big advocate for education, wanting his children and grandchildren to be given opportunities to succeed in life. Most importantly, he taught his family about faith by saying blessings before every meal and prayers every night before he went to sleep.

He was a true hero to his family, leaving behind a legacy of courage, resilience, and faith that his family will always remember.

Jimmy is survived by his beloved wife of sixty-three years, Sandra Clements West; his daughters, Rita Ellsworth, Jamie (Ken) Covington, and Jimmie “Bobo” (Bill) Huettel; his grandchildren, Callie Burgess of Dallas, Texas, West (Ashley) Covington of Charlotte, North Carolina, Elizabeth (Brandon) Furlong of Pensacola, Florida, Robert M. Ellsworth, Jr. of Memphis, Tennessee, Matthew Covington of Memphis, Mark Burgess of Memphis, and Grace Ellsworth of Memphis; one sister, Doris Christian of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and several nieces and nephews, and his beloved cat, Winston.

He is preceded in death by his granddaughter, Alexandra Ellsworth of Memphis, Tennessee; his parents, Lena and Charles West, Sr. of Tuscaloosa; brother, Charles West, Jr. of Tuscaloosa; and sisters, Evelyn Simpson of Tuscaloosa, Virginia Sellers of Tuscaloosa, Katheryn Reese of Tuscaloosa, Hazel Danna of Tuscaloosa, Billie Fae Trifola of Tuscaloosa, and Barbara Hare of Tuscaloosa. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to American Cancer Society, Emerald Coast Hospice in Miramar Beach, and St. Rita’s Catholic Church, 22 St Rita Lane, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on April 2, 2024 at St. Rita’s Catholic Church,  22 St Rita Lane, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459, with a reception to follow at Monet Monet, 100 E County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459.

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Celebration of Life
April 2, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Rita Catholic Church
137 Moll Drive
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


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