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WILLARD NOBLE WEST, JR., 81, of New Bern, N.C., died Monday, September 4, 2023 after battling prostate cancer for five years. He was born to the late Willard Noble West, Sr. and Mary Susan Vann West, March 25, 1942, in Selma, N.C. Willard graduated from Selma High School in 1960 and attended Atlantic Christian College. He could either afford a car or college, so he left college and bought a car instead. His love of cars continued throughout his life. Willard completed the Pre-Service Training School for Wildlife Protectors at the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill, N.C. in 1963. While attending training school for Wildlife Protectors, Willard worked at the Smithfield Police Department as a Police Officer. On July 1, 1964, he was assigned to Richmond County, N.C. as a North Carolina Wildlife Protector Trainee. In July of 1965, Willard was transferred to Walnut Cove in Stokes County, N.C. as a Wildlife Protector. He was in Stokes County through 1965. In 1966, Willard was drafted by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. He attended training at Fort Bragg, N.C., and was stationed at Fort Eustis in Newport News, Va. He reached the rank of Sergeant, Training NCO. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1968, Willard returned to the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, and he was assigned to Craven County, N.C. as a Wildlife Protector, eventually reclassified as a North Carolina Wildlife Officer/Game Warden. He loved his work as a game warden and protecting our wildlife. He moved to New Bern, N.C. in October of 1968, and within two weeks, he met the love of his life, Jean Eubanks. They married on December 6, 1969. Willard worked in Craven and surrounding counties as a Wildlife Officer until he retired in July of 1984, with the rank of Master Officer. Willard was recognized as Wildlife Protector of the month in 1966 and again in 1974. After retirement, Willard owned and operated West’s House of Birds for 10 years. He and Jean also owned and operated Security Finance Company from 1978 to 2001. For the past 22 years, Willard enjoyed working as a dealer trade driver for Joe Alcoke Chevrolet, Pecheles Honda, and New Bern Auto Group. For many years, he loved to go to Joe Alcoke Chevrolet, now Chevrolet of New Bern, every morning for a cup of coffee and hang out with his friends at the dealership. Willard and Jean loved to travel to national and local car shows with their restored old Chevrolets, especially their 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertibles. They won many awards with their Chevy’s and were immensely proud to show off their pride and joy. They also enjoyed many road trips with the Twin Rivers Corvette Club; and loved the mountain trips with their friends. Willard was a founding member of the First Capital Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America, based in New Bern and formed in 1991. He was an AACA judge and past president of the AACA’s North Carolina Region. Willard also was a founding member of the Twin Rivers Corvette Club, formed in 1993. He was a member of the Friends of North Carolina Wildlife Commission, Peninsula Caged Bird Society, RaleighDurham Caged Bird Society, Antique Automobile Club of America, American Federation of Aviculture, National Rifle Association, Twin Rivers Corvette Club, Colonial Capital Humane Society, and Tabernacle Baptist Church. After Jean’s passing in September of 2018, Willard met Linda “Cookie” Price. Willard was blessed with two loves in his lifetime, and he and Cookie have been together since October of 2019. Cookie put a pep back in Willard’s step, and they have enjoyed the past four years in love and companionship. Willard will be greatly missed by his many friends and family. Willard is survived by his three daughters, Susan West Tripp (Mark) of New Bern, Pamela West Toler (Jimmy) of Greenville, N.C. and Tamela West Aghjayan of Hickory, N.C.; girlfriend, Linda “Cookie” Price of New Bern; brother, Gordon West (Shirley) of Spartanburg, S.C.; grandchildren, Jamie Brice Sheldon, John Phillip Aghjayan, Lauren Ashley Aghjayan, Jessica Marie Nieves-Hardison, and one great-grandchild, Alyssa Paige Hardison; honorary daughter, Rhonda Heath of New Bern, who he referred to as his fourth daughter. He was predeceased in death by his wife of 50 years, Jean Carol Eubanks West; son-in-law, Phillip Melik Aghjayan; his parents, Willard Noble West, Sr., and Mary Susan Vann West; and his fur baby, Buffy. The family would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the compassionate care Willard received from Dr. Rick Gorman, Dr. Robert Fisher, Dr. Svetlana Kats, Dr. Hoytt Doak, Dr. Matt Smith, Hospice Nurse Joy Holloway, and the staff at Craven County Hospice. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Colonial Capital Humane Society, Tabernacle Baptist Church, North Carolina Wildlife Commission Hunter Education Program, or St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research. The family will receive friends on Friday, September 8, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church. Funeral service will follow at 2:30 p.m. with military and wildlife honors. He will be laid to rest following the service at Greenleaf Memorial Park Cemetery. Online condolences can be made by visiting www.cottenfuneralhome.com. Cotton Funeral Home is honored to serve the family and friends of Willard West, Jr.