LaVina Dale Andrew West
Class of 1963
Upon graduation from DCHS she attended Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University). Following her first year of college she came back home and married her high school sweetheart, James Lee West in 1964. They have been married for 44 ½ years. LaVina, while in college served in several capacities working for SNU. She served as the secretary for the assistant to the President. Then she served in the department of wills and annuities and bequests. Then she was asked to serve as an assistant in the Science Division. Her degree was in Biological Sciences and because of her outstanding achievements there for the last two years of her undergraduate career she served as the assistant/secretary to the head of the Science Division. It was during this time that she helped administer the move of the science division into a new 5 story building. She graduated with her husband Jim in 1964 with the Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.), majoring in biological sciences and a minor in secondary education. She graduated with honors, Magna Cum Laude, and is a member of the national honor society, Alpha Lambda Delta, an academic society of Science majors. In college she was one of only two women to excel with these honors in her graduating class. She distinguished herself as a field animal specialist, learning skills in making study skins and taxidermy. She has taken graduate courses leading to the Masters degree in Science Education at Seattle Pacific University.
During the final two years at BNC she served with Jim at Covenant Presbyterian Church as the director of children’s choirs. This was a new ministry for the church and was very successful as she developed choirs for primaries and juniors. It lives on today what she founded.
Because her husband Jim has been in pastoral ministry most of their married life, she was fully active in many roles in the churches where he served. She was a teacher, counselor, musician, hostess, and many more. When the children were young she mainly was a mother and homemaker. Eventually, she transitioned to teaching in the public schools where they lived, frequently as a substitute teacher and also as a teacher in the science department. She was a certificated teacher in the State of Washington and Alaska. While Jim was working on his Masters in Kansas City, Missouri, LaVina worked in the Department of Home Missions at Nazarene Headquarters, along with being active in a local Nazarene church. She also served as the secretary for the science division at Mid America Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas until their first daughter was born.
During their time in Alaska LaVina, substitute taught and worked for the Department of Health, working administratively with Special Needs Children. Because of Jim’s involvement with Rotary Club, she has served as the hostess in the Rotary Student Exchange program. They have hosted six different students, each for one year in their home, from Brazil, Australia, the Philippines, and from Thailand. Being the American mom for these foreign students was rewarding work and help set the stage for the missionary work that the West’s do now. She is a teacher in the missionary training program of Heart of God Ministries. Her specialty is teaching in the area of the personality traits and how to get along in difficult circumstances or with difficult people. These are important areas of training for young missionaries.
LaVina is active in her local Nazarene church in various capacities. Most notably she is on the church board and serves as the president of the missionary organization in the Church of the Nazarene. LaVina from the founding of Heart of God Ministries has been the Director of Finance and Administration. She leads a staff administering the funds of the ministry for its’ local and international interests.
She is mother to Jamie, Julie and Joy and their husbands and she has seventeen (17) grandchildren. She likes to garden, sing, birding, teach and is often a speaker at various women’s meetings or missionary gatherings. She has also served as a camp speaker and women’s retreat speaker.
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