Bessie Mae West-Butler

Thursday, March 11, 2021
Bessie Mae West-Butler

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made Heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2

Celebration of Life services for Mrs. Bessie Mae West-Butler, 82, will be held at noon Saturday, March 13, 2021, at Union Baptist Church, located at 1014 S. Main St. in Jennings, with Reverend Gerald W. Perkins, Sr., officiating.

Visitiation will be held in the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral.

Burial will follow in Perkins Cemetery under the direction of Semien-Lewis Mortuary of Jennings.

Facial coverings must be worn while attending services and social distancing guidelines adhered to.

On Sunday, March 7, 2021, “The eyes of the Lord were on Bessie and He delivered her out of all of her afflictions!” (Psalms 34: 15 and 17)

Bessie West-Butler was born in Roanoke to the union of Lovenia Malveaux West and Hamuel “Buddy” West on March 12, 1937. She was educated in the schools of Jennings, graduating in 1957. Following her graduation, she matriculated at Grambling College, now called Grambling State University. She was the first in her family to go to college.

It was at Grambling where she met the love of her life, Lester J. Butler. They became the proud parents of four children, Reverend Gregory Butler (Cassandra) of Jackson, Miss., Kevin Butler (Terri Lynn) of Lafayette, Vanessa B. Stevens (Preston) of Abbeville and James Butler of Alexandria.

Bessie was a faithful member of Union Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend G.C. Chaney and, later, Reverend Gerald Perkins, until her illness made it impossible for her to attend services.While attending Union, she was an active participant, serving as a choir member, Sunday school teacher and president of the Senior Mission.

Bessie was a firm believer in education and, after college, she taught in Jeff Davis Parish school system for more than 30 years, where she received accolades for her expertise in the classroom. Following her retirement, she served as a substitute teacher for more than five years. She also made sure that all three of her children received a college education. In addition, she continued her education at McNeese State University, where she obtained her master’s degree. Above all, Bessie loved to help her family, her church and her community.

She leaves to cherish her memory her children, Gregory, Kevin, James and Vanessa and their spouses; grandchildren, Greg, Jr., David, Allison, D’Andre, Tierra, Rachelle, Javon, Ashley and Autumn; nine great-grandchildren; her sisters, Viola Victor of Lake Charles and Evelyn Julian of Crowley; her brother, Milton West (Brenda) of Lake Charles; sister-in-law, Annie West of Houston, Texas; one aunt, Rose Simon of Beaumont, Texas; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Lester; her sisters, Cora McZeal and Lillie Smith; her brothers, Reverend Hilton West and John West; and her aunts and uncles.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at