ODESSA - State Representative Buddy West has passed away. He was 71-years-old.
A family member and a spokesperson for Frank Wilson Funeral Home told NewsWest9 that Mr. West died Wednesday morning around 6:00.
West collapsed while at an Odessa restaurant back on May 29th. Doctors later said he had suffered cardiac arrest. West had been on dialysis since last year, but had been doing well with the treatment. He was transferred from the hospital to hospice care earlier this week.
A moment of silence was observed Wednesday morning at the CEED building in Midland County for Buddy West. Dignitaries and officials had gathered there to unveil the plans for a new performing arts center.
House Speaker Tom Craddick issued a statement on the death of West.
"Nadine and I were so sorry to hear of the passing of our friend Buddy West. Buddy was a dedicated public servant to the people of the Permian Basin and to the state of Texas. I had the tremendous honor to serve alongside him and to work with him on issues that affect our closely linked communities of Midland and Odessa. Nadine and I send our heartfelt condolences to Shirley and the West family. We will keep them in our prayers," Craddick said.
Governor Rick Perry also issued a statement on the death of West.
"Texas lost a great public servant when Buddy West passed away today. As a dedicated champion for the people of West Texas, Buddy's legacy will live on in the lives of those he touched through his tireless efforts to make Odessa, West Texas and the entire state of Texas a better place," Perry said.
Texas flags will be lowered at the Capitol Complex in Austin on Wednesday, Thursday, and on the date of West's internment. Flags at all state buildings in District 81 will also be lowered Wednesday through the day of internment.
West served Ector, Andrews and Winkler Counties in the Texas House for 16 years. The Republican lost his re-election bid during an April runoff with Odessa attorney and former judge Tryon Lewis. His current term ends at the end of the year.
West was elected to the Texas House in 1992 and served on numerous committees. Before his legislative career, West served on the Ector County School Board.
West was born in Ballinger, Texas on October, 9, 1936 and moved to Odessa in 1944. West graduated from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin with his BBA in business management in 1975. He retired after 30 years with Amoco where he worked as a safety engineer, product technologist, and plant and field technician.
West is survived by his wife, Shirley, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
Thursday, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Frank Wilson Funeral Home in Odessa.
Friday, 3:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Odessa with burial Saturday in Austin at Texas State Cemetery.