Joanne R. West, 80, Portsmouth


Joanne R. West, 80, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, passed away on September 2, 2021 at Newport Hospital. She was the wife of William E. West. 

Joanne was born in Providence to John and Jennie (Walaska) Pelosi. She graduated from Mt Pleasant High School in 1958 and R.I. College in 1962 with a BA in Education. She started her career as a teacher in Providence schools but soon found herself in the Middletown Public Schools. She retired after a rewarding career as a first-grade teacher at Kennedy, Oliphant, and Aquidneck schools. She was a member of the Middletown Retired Teachers Association and a life member of the NEA. She was a parishioner at St. Barnabas Church upon moving to Portsmouth in 1972. 

If there was one hobby that she had it was reading! She was a prolific lifelong reader. Joanne also enjoyed crossword puzzles and over the last few years practiced Tai Chi exercises as a member of the Portsmouth Senior Center. Watching football was her favorite weekend activity, both college football and her beloved New England Patriots games. Her skill at cooking was often the feature at football parties.

Joanne is survived by her husband of 57 years, William, her children; Jennifer West and Michael West, both of Portsmouth, Christopher West of West Palm Beach, Fla., and William (Sly) and his wife Amy West of Los Angeles, Calif. and her grandson Sumner West. She was the oldest of six children and is survived by siblings Mary Jane Ciotti of North Providence, John Pelosi, of Cranston, Thomas Pelosi and Peter Pelosi, both of Providence, a sister in law Marie E. Boanton of Frederick, Md., along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Joanne is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Robert Pelosi.

Visiting hours will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 from 8:30-9:45 a.m in St. Barnabas Church, 1697 East Main Road, Portsmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. immediately following visiting hours. Her burial will take place at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown, R.I.

Memorial donations may be made to the Visiting Nurse Service, Home and Hospice, 1184 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.