Bartow, Florida


WEST, Roger

Last Updated: 2024

Roger L. West, 78, of Gainesville, Florida, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, February 11, 2024. He was surrounded by family and friends. Dr. West fought against a recent reoccurrence of lung cancer with great courage.

Roger is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ellen West, his daughter Cady West Garey and his much-loved son-in-law Bryan Garey and his granddaughters Virginia and Evelyn. Roger's two sisters, Mary Wilson and Gayle Conley, and his brothers-in-law Lee Conley and Tim Rankin remain to celebrate his life. His sister, Judy Rankin along with his mother, Louise and father, Lawrence, were there to greet him in heaven. Roger is further survived by his nephews, niece, their spouses and children, as well as many, many students and friends in Alachua County, the state, and the nation.

Roger would proudly tell you that he was a cattle rancher his entire life. He first learned about raising cattle from his grandfather, Ferdinand Martin and uncle, Bill Martin in Polk County, FL. The first of his family to attend college at the University of Florida, his studies focused on the cattle industry and research, as well as a beautiful and smart black curly-haired young woman and fellow Gator named Ellen from Miami. He went on to earn a Bachelor's and Master's of Science in Animal Science, marry that young woman from Miami and in short order, become a father to Cady. He moved this young family to College Station, Texas to complete his PhD in Meat Science and Muscle Biology at Texas A&M while Ellen completed her master's in education. They returned to Gainesville and UF, where Roger taught and did research eventually becoming a Full Professor in 1983. Roger retired in 2003 and was recognized as Professor Emeritus. He enjoyed a long retirement doing exactly what he loved most-- spending time with his family, developing his cattle ranch, and being a cowboy.

He was a good husband, a good father, and a good friend to so many people. What a blessing to have so many friends.

Rather than a funeral service, it was Roger's wish to have a big cook out to celebrate his life. Plans are being made for a celebration for family and friends with plenty of beef to eat, sweet tea to drink, and hopefully some banana pudding-- all of his favorites.

He will be missed until we meet again.