Thomas Mabson West Jr.

August 9, 1940February 8, 2013

WEST JR., THOMAS MABSON Thomas Mabson West, Jr. passed away February 8, 2013. He was born August 9, 1940, the son of Thomas Mabson West, Sr. and Kathryn Rennolds West. He attended the University of Alabama where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Science and Cumberland School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree. From an early age he had a great interest in history and descended from the founders of both Birmingham and Montgomery, unique in Alabama history. Memberships included First Families of Alabama, Society of the Revolution (president), Society of the War of 1812 (president), Jefferson County Historical Association (president), Friends of the Irondale Furnace (president), Society of Colonial Wars (Lt. Governor), Newcomen Society, English Speaking Union, Birmingham Exchange Club, and Jamestown Society. He erected twenty-six historical markers throughout Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Montgomery, and Mobile. His proudest achievement was as founder of the Birmingham History Center. Birmingham, founded in 1871, lacked the history museums of Montgomery, Mobile and Huntsville, and that need was finally filled. He loved his church, Independent Presbyterian, and served four terms on the Board of Deacons and as Moderator (president) of the Board of Shepherds. As an insurance agent since 1974, he served as president of the Birmingham Association of Health Underwriters, Board of Directors of the Birmingham Independent Insurance Agents, and Board of Directors of the Birmingham Association of Life Underwriters, a rare combination of leadership in all three insurance disciplines. Memberships also included Montgomery Country Club, The Club, and the Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club of Birmingham. Pursuant to his interest in history he produced three important books: Historic Birmingham and Jefferson County by James R. Bennett, The Elyton Land Company Minutes Books, and The History of Jefferson County before 1850 by Will Franke. Tommy was a devoted husband, father, and friend. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 23 years Mary Ellen Holman West, stepdaughter Dr. Kristin Carroll Bains, her husband Jason Scott Bains, and his golden retriever Sherlock. A memorial service in thanksgiving of his life will be held on Friday February 15, 2013, at 11 o'clock in the morning at Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. Memorial gifts may be made to the Jefferson County Historical Association, c/o The Treasurer, 4100 Churchill Circle, Birmingham, AL 35213.


  • Memorial Service Friday, February 15, 2013

Thomas Mabson West Jr.

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Mark Anderson

February 23, 2013

Mary Ellen,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am thniking of you.

My deepest sympathy.

Leah Engler

February 15, 2013

Tommy, you were so very kind to me always. You will be terribly missed by your friends and family, but very fondly remembered always.

Beth Elliott

February 15, 2013

We are so sorry for your precious loss, please know you and Kristin are in our prayers. Much love, Beth and Rufus

Deby Hunt-Eastis

February 13, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Minna Roth Hill

February 12, 2013

I am so sorry, Mary Ellen. I didn't hear from Tommy at Christmas, so I was afraid something was wrong. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all. He was the best cousin I ever had, and he will be missed.


Paul Matz

February 12, 2013

Mary Ellen,

I am so sad for your loss. I hope friends, love, and time assuage the anguish of your bereavement and leave you only cherished memories.

Your friend, Paul Matz

February 12, 2013

May God bless Tommy's family and friends.He was a joy to be around and talk with.
Carolyn and Charles Goslin

Frank Fowlkes

February 11, 2013

I have known Tommy since the mid 70's and always found interesting and insightful. Tommy will be missed

Tom Badham

February 11, 2013

Tommy was a good friend. He was an expert on the history of Birmingham. His death is a great loss to Birmingham and to many friends and family.

Kelley Barnes-Frank

February 11, 2013

Tommy was a wonderful man and did so much for the cities history. He was also a great next door neighbor to us. We are going to miss him so much. Mother is going to miss her long talks with Tommy. MaryEllen and Sherlock we are just a step away if you need anything. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Mary, Kelley & Jack