Dr. John Orr WEST
February 12, 1926 – August 3, 2018
John Orr West February 12, 1926 – August 3, 2018
John Orr West was born on February 12, 1926 to Effie and Phil West, in Gore, Ethiopia, where his parents were missionaries. His father built hospitals and John would often watch surgeries being performed from the porch; this sparked John’s curiosity and intrigue into the intricacies of the human body and led to his desire to become a missionary physician.
Raised by godly parents, John accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and grew in his knowledge and understanding of the Lord during his late teenage years. He was actively involved with Youth For Christ, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and was mentored by the Navigators. Through the Navigators he learned and memorized many passages of scripture which he later taught to his own children.
John graduated from San Diego High School and began college at Wheaton College in Illinois. World War II was in progress and at the age of 18, he decided to enlist in order to eventually avail himself of the GI Bill to assist in paying for his medical education. During the War he served as an enlisted Army medic in the 82nd Airborne Division.
He attended medical school at the University of Southern California and, at one of the campus student Christian ministries, he met Beverly Williams who became his wife on July 8, 1950. John completed his training with Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital in Los Angeles in 1954.
One evening in 1955, as he and Beverly were praying about what would be the next step in their lives, they received a phone call about a missionary doctor in Taiwan who needed someone to cover for him while he returned home to England for a year. So Taiwan became home for John and Beverly and they had two children, Julie and Phil. They became proficient in Mandarin and John worked at a Christian medical clinic. In 1960 he founded Cottage Hospital in Taipei. His medical practice became very busy and in 1964, he decided that more formal training in surgery would be beneficial to the work he was doing in Taiwan. The family returned to San Diego where he completed his surgical residency at the UCSD.
In 1969, John and the family returned to Taiwan where he continued to serve as a family practice physician and surgeon at various mission hospitals around the island. He did everything from delivering babies to intricate surgeries on leprosy patients. However, as much as he loved medicine, his first love was teaching and preaching God’s Word.
In 1974, while Julie and Phil were in college, John and Beverly made their home in San Diego. John worked as the Director of the Emergency Department at Grossmont Hospital from 1976 until 1985. In those years in San Diego, John and Beverly became very involved in helping to resettle refugees from Cambodia and Viet Nam. Many of them were ethnic Chinese and also spoke Mandarin. John became involved in their medical care and also in their spiritual care. John “retired” from Emergency Medicine in 1985 so that he could return to life and work overseas.
From 1985 until 1994 he worked in three different cities in China as a professor at An Hui Medical University, as a staff physician for Management Technology company in Tianjin, and as director of an international medical clinic in Beijing.
In 2002, Beverly died of cancer. The following year John married Ursula Muller- Eberhard who had been a long time family friend and had been mentored early in her faith by Beverly. John and Ursula traveled extensively to the Ukraine and parts of Europe where Ursula had already been involved in a counseling ministry. They moved to Mount Miguel Covenant Village in 2008 and continued to reach out and encourage their neighbors here. When John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Ursula provided wonderful daily care for him. In 2016, she settled him into assisted living and three weeks later she unexpectedly passed away.
The last two years were difficult for John; however, throughout the changes that Alzheimer’s caused, one thing never changed: his deep love for the Word of God and for people. He enthusiastically loved listening to scripture and praying. As a medical doctor he was always concerned for the well being of his fellow residents in the memory care unit. He spoke of heaven often and longed for his true Home.
John is survived by his sister, Lorena Lou Lundgren, his two children, Julie and her husband Craig Breuninger, and Philip West and his wife Carol. He is also survived by seven grandchildren—Krista (Jon) Lackie, Jon Breuninger, Derek (Jeannette) Breuninger, Paul (Monique) Breuninger, Kimberlee (Eric) Schelling, Kelli (Chris) Bargar, Timothy (Ashley) West—and by 16 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Celebration service on August 25, 2018 at 2 PM at Mt. Miguel Covenant Village 325 Kempton St. Spring Valley in the Bailey Center.
Memorial Donations: In Memory of Dr. John Orr West Christian Medical and Dental Association PO Box 7500 Bristol, TN 37621
Donations will be used to assist young physicians who desire to serve on the mission field with medical school debt.
- Graveside Service Tuesday, August 7, 2018
- Graveside Service Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Dr. John Orr WEST
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August 25, 2018
As a boy and then young man at Laurel Bible Chapel, I was always amazed at Dr. West’s enthusiasm and passion for the Lord and His Word. “Wow,” I would think. “This man loves the Lord so much; he’s so zealous and passionate about his convictions. Where does it come from? How did he get it? Will I ever be like that? I want convictions and passion like that, too, but it all seems so impossible." Well, with God nothing is impossible! Today that same passion, through the power of the Holy Spirit, burns in my heart! Thank God for Dr. West’s good example set forth so many years ago, an example that made me and others want what he had! “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord!”
Christine Warren Butcher
August 11, 2018
It was the middle of the night, April 28, 1990. My husband of just one year and three weeks was taken by ambulance to Grossmont Hospital’s Emergency Room in the middle of the night. Although he was off duty that night, Dr John West, AND his dear wife Beverly, came to the ER To be with us. Dr John was the one who informed me and the rest of the family that our Kenny was no longer here, but had graduated to Heaven. The worst night of my life was made just a little more bearable because Dr John and Bev were there with us!