Of course, I didn't actually marry West. Rather, I married him in my obituary. In my college news writing class, one of the assignments was to write our own obituaries. I had fun with mine, and it became even better when my sister Val got her hands on it and embellished it a bit more. So I present, for your reading pleasure, my obituary. (Val's additions are in italics. I also just realized that I probably shouldn't put all this personally identifying information out there, so I'm changing and/or leaving out a few things.)
Rebecca West, known as the "Christian Entertainment Voice," died Sunday of natural causes at her home in Central City. She was 85. Because her entire estate was left to one relative, her daughter, Cassandra Kilers, it was at first believed that she had been "done in" in another tragic case of greed by a cold-hearted relative who just couldn't wait. However, because Cassandra was already well-off thanks to the untimely death of her husband, Michael Kilers of Chicago, on whom she had a $1,000,000 life insurance policy, it was decided that she did not need the money and, therefore, did not "buy the farm" for her mother.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Swiss Church in Whitewater, Kansas. Pastor Jason McCullogh will officiate. Burial will be in the Whitewater Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Lion Funeral Home. Family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m. Memorials are suggested to Nebraska Christian Schools and CAM International.
Mrs. West was born in Kansas to Robert and Susan R. She graduated from Nebraska Christian High School in Central City, attended Central Community College in Grand Island, and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. She received a Masters of Education degree from Northwestern University in Chicago in 2008.
On July 19, 2006, she married Dean Cain in Central City. They had three children. Mr. Cain was killed in a skiing accident in 2012. Cassandra was again a suspect early on in the investigation, but it was later determined that it was the malicious ski lodge owner who was jealous of Cain's fabulous abs who spiked the hot cocoa on that fateful day. Because of the influence of the alcohol, Mr. Cain "Just call me Dean" skiied into a tree. On November 25, 2015, she married Shane West of Los Angeles in Whitewater, Kansas. They had one child.
Mrs. West's great loves were family, education, and entertainment. She combined these loves in her work as the "Christian Entertainment Voice." While doing her graduate work at Northwestern, she wrote a column for the Chicago Sun-Times which reviewed television programs in light of traditional moral values. This column spawned a weekly syndicated television show, "Family Entertainment," which also included movie reviews and interviews with members of the entertainment industry. Critics dubbed her the "Christian Entertainment Voice" due to her family-friendly reviews and her push for morality in Hollywood.
Mrs. West also had a great love for romance novels, which she read daily. Upon the suggestion of her rustic husband Shane, she decided to try her hand at this "art." Her first book, "Love in Kansas," was based entirely on the exploits of her mother's teens and early twenties. Her second book, "You Skiied into a Tree, and Now I'm All Alone, Unless I Find Someone Else," was based upon the tragedy and triumph of her first husband's death. This was a bestselling book on the "Literature of Kansas" reading list.
Mrs. West also taught high school English at Puebla Christian School in Mexico and Berean Academy in Elbing, Kansas; served as Chair of the Journalism Department at Multnomah Bible College in Portland; worked on the staff of "Plugged-In Magazine;" and founded and served as editor-in-chief of "Christian Entertainment Quarterly," which she continued to be involved with until her untimely death.
Survivors include her husband of Central City; two daughters, Jennifer Jensen of Whitewater, Kansas, and Cassandra Kilers of Chicago; two sons, Christopher Cain of Winona Lake, Indiana, and Jeremy West of Puebla, Mexico; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by an infant son, Jesse West; two grandchildren, Sydney Jensen and Jessica Cain; and one great-grandchild, Alec Hernandez. Her favorite saying was, "For all the saiiints who from their labors reeest to Thee by faith before the world confeeeeeeeeeessed." While she lived a seemingly full life, she never fulfilled two dreams; to become Michelle Kwan, and to personally meet the entire cast of the show "Full House."After reading that, who here thinks Val should blog? Also, according to my timetable, I still have time to marry Shane West. Just sayin'.