James West, Class of 1976

Posted Jun 18, 2020

West Jim  76 Obit Pic

Jim West, ’76 died May 30, 2020. Jim attended Otterbein earning his BA in Theatre. He was given Honoraria in Theta Alpha Phi (drama) and Mortarboard/Teleiotes.

Regarded as one of the best puppeteers in America, Jim was a creative genius who could fashion a story from mythology, add music from Mozart, Beethoven or Rossini, make the puppets out of anything at hand and enthrall packed audiences of four- to eight-year-olds. He once demonstrated shadow puppetry on a refrigerator for Mr. Rogers. He was an artist of incredible talent who performed throughout the United States. His spontaneous sense of humor was off the wall, and he dearly loved to make people laugh. He also loved poetry and had an amazing capacity for retaining movie dialogue, specifically every word of “Gone With the Wind,” “All About Eve” and “Moonstruck,” parts of which were filmed in Brooklyn Heights, his post-college home for over 40 years. Jim was preceded in death by his long-time partner Hastings Hartt and is survived by his partner and friend, John Cain, ’76, as well as a lifetime of family and friends.