In memory of

Patrick West, age 34 of Helena

January 14, 1980 – September 15, 2014

Patrick Timothy West died unexpectedly on September 15, 2014. He was born January 14, 1980 in Plentywood, MT to Tim and Mary Jane (Bantz) West.

When he was three years old, his family moved to Helena, MT. He has always been an avid outdoorsman and athlete.  He played Babe Ruth Baseball, Small Fry Football, and wrestled for years with the East Helena and Helena Wrestling Clubs and Helena High School, where he graduated in 1998.

Pat attended the Helena College of Technology for construction technology. He also completed fiber optics training.  His work took him on many adventures around Montana and the Northwest.  When he settled back in Helena, he and childhood friend Shane Feist started Big Belt Construction and ran the business together for several years.

Pat began his adventures in rock climbing after a friend took him out on a climb. After that, he was hooked.  Pat was soon dragging his brothers, Kevin and Aaron, out on climbs.  After his niece and nephews were born, he couldn’t wait until they were big enough to take on a rock.  His patience in teaching them to climb and the memories they created will always be treasured. He has spent many hours and miles travelling around the country to the next big climb.

If he wasn’t rock climbing, Pat was fishing, hunting, hiking, ice climbing, or hanging out with his family. A highlight of every year was hunting camp in Outlook, MT with his dad, brothers, niece and nephews.  The boys would spend weeks planning and plotting.  Another favorite was the annual trip in July to Aunt Ronnie’s in Eureka, MT where Pat would spend days climbing and nights with his family around the bonfire drinking his PBR and clamato – trying to convince everyone to sleep outside with him.

Pat was always a risk taker – from motorcycle wrecks to rattlesnake bites. He was a minimalist like no other and didn’t need much to survive.  He never needed new clothes or a professional haircut – duct tape works fine for mending. Not much of a talker, but his laughter was contagious.

Pat married Sarah Tomaske on June 27, 2009. Sarah shared his love of the outdoors and their wedding reception was a rock climb.

Pat is survived by his wife Sarah, his parents Tim and Mary Jane West, his in-laws Matt and Nina Tomaszewski, and his maternal grandmother, Gerry Bantz. He is also survived by his sisters, Yvette (Lee) Keller, Tina West, Melissa (Bill) Billman, and his brothers Kevin (Dayna) West and Aaron West.  He will be especially missed by his niece and nephews; Sydney West, Tyzan Billman, Tamer Billman, Quill Keller, Rayden West, and Gavin West.  He also had several step nieces and nephews; Jared, Devin, Ashley, Elaine, and Amber.  Pat is also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Pat is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Janette and Maurice West, maternal grandfather Penny Bantz, Uncle Larry Bantz, and brother-in-law, John Tomaske.

Please bring a copy of your favorite photo of Pat to help us celebrate his life. Visitation hours will be 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, September 19th at Retz Funeral Home, 315 E. 6th Avenue. A celebration of Pat’s Life will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday, September 20th at Retz Funeral home with a luncheon reception immediately following, location will be announced. Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Pat.



Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Dennis & Kelly Haverlandt and Ashley Millard says

    It is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one – especially one taken so soon. We are so thankful we were able to reconnect with Pat during this year’s family reunion in Anaconda. You are in our thoughts and prayers during the challenging time. We love you! Love, Denny, Kelly, & Ashley

  2. Paul and Sarah Braden says

    You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Pat was an amazing man and will be forever missed.

  3. Jennifer Sperry (Gregg) says

    Hoping you all find some peace in the comfort of each other at this difficult time. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers. Pat will live forever in my memories. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss.
    Love, Jeni

  4. George Warburton says

    Seems like yesterday you and I were having sleep overs and making teachers cry at Warren Elementery. Rest in peace Pat. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

  5. Beau Breneman says

    Never forget all the good times we had. Some of the best times I can remember we’re back in the day when we were roommates raising chaos with the crew. We had a lot of laughs…. Always be missed my friend. Love you Pat West!

  6. Kimberly Deschene says

    I wish I could have known you better… I remember you as the cutest little kid.

  7. Michelle Brown says

    I can’t believe you are gone!! I remember the bus rides for all the wrestling trips!! You will be missed! Sending thoughts and prayers!

  8. Dale Frankforter says

    I wish I had some pictures of us together. Whenever Pat and I were together it was hours of smiles and laughing. Pat has the greatest smile. I wish I was there for you. I will miss you.

  9. Shawn Helmbrecht says

    RIP Pat West. You will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to all family and friends. Stay strong in these tough times. RIP

  10. Tawna Meldrum says

    Our deepest sympathies to you all, you are in our prayers and hearts.

  11. Doug and Jaclyn West says

    All our thoughts and prayers to you Tim and Mary Jane and family during this difficult time..God Bless you

  12. Paige Mandera says

    So very sad to hear of this tragic event. Time seems to pass so quickly.. and we hadn’t talked in years. I wish we had. So many good memories, and fun times. Thanks for taking me rock climbing for the only time ever! I was terrified, but you were a good teacher. Thanks for listening when I needed it, and for keeping me laughing. You were always great for that. I’m sorry we lost touch.

    My thoughts and prayers to all of Pat’s family. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  13. Rachel Howard says

    So sorry for your loss- our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  14. Bobbie Gardner says

    My heart and prayers goes out to your entire family and friends! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  15. Ardelle Hart says

    so sorry to hear about your loss our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family!! May God be with you all.

  16. Sheila Dinkelman says

    So sorry for your loss, Tim and Mary Jane, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  17. Ray and Kelly Bertoni says

    We knew and loved Sarah and our deepest condolences go out to her and every life Pat touched. There are just no words to describe the sadness we feel for family and friends of Pat. Please know our thoughts are with you all.

  18. Kristi Paulsen says

    Tim, Mary Jane and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you all.

  19. Gina (Moberg) Snyder says

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you… Gina

  20. Elaine Applin says

    Mary Jane and Family,
    I’m so sorry about your son. You are in my prayers.

  21. Judit Kenderesi says

    We are so deeply sorry for Your lost. Condolence to the whole family,you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Zsofia, Judit and Janos

  22. Judit Kenderesi says

    We are so deeply sorry for Your loss . Condolence to the whole family,you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Zsofia, Judit and Janos

  23. Pam McCrory Nehring says

    Dear Tim and Maty Jane,
    My dearest and sincerest sympathy on your lose. May the wonderful memories of Patrick bring you comfort. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  24. Bev and Wayne Johnson says

    So sorry Tim and Mary Jane and family for your devastating loss, and words cannot express our sadness for all of you. May The Lord be with all of you as you support each other in this crisis. May Pat’s life be remembered by all who knew him, and shared with each of you through others to gain understanding of Pats love of life, family, and how much he loved nature. You are all in our prayers.

  25. jesse burgess says

    My first week of high school at Helena high, Pat approched me and asked if I wanted to shoot some clays with him and his dad and we did. So since high school we were friends, not real close but enough to know that Patrick was a good man, kind at heart a full of passion. Never heard him say a bad word about anyone or was not one to stir the pot. So to all his close friends and family my deepest sympathy. I will always remember Patrick as a full blooded Montana man that could climb a rock upside down without a rope, hunt an elk with a simple recurb bow, catch a fish with his hands, pull some gold out of a crick all in a day. andnotbeone to host or brag. Pat will be dearly missed by all who had the privlage to be part of his life.

  26. Tom Mulvaney and Jill Bullock says

    We had only known Pat and his brother, Kevin, for two short weeks
    before Pat’s passing.
    My wife and I hired Kevin and Pat to do
    some sheet rocking and carpentering because they were willing to
    come and work on the weekends and some weekdays, and they seemed to be responsible
    and hard workers.
    THEY WERE BOTH, and last Friday they had completed our up-stairs
    work in very good fashion. On Thursday, Kevin and I had calculated out the total
    hours Pat and Kevin had worked and were projected to work
    on Friday, as best as we could.
    I paid Kevin. At the end of Friday, Pat handed me $50 and said I overpaid him.
    I could hardly believe it. Pat was so honest. And then he complimented me
    for keeping the work area clean for Kevin and him. It was a heart-felt
    compliment, and I was very impressed with his sincerity. Pat and I hadn’t
    talked much prior to that. Pat’s style was to say a friendly hello when he
    arrived, and then he went about his work, so when he paid me that
    compliment, it not only surprised me but it meant a lot.
    When Kevin and Pat left on Friday, it was a job very well done,
    We were shocked and extremely saddened to read his obituary in the paper
    Thursday morning. We wish to compliment the authors of the obituary writeup,
    as it provided a wonderful tribute to Pat, and described his personality just
    the way we knew him the past two weeks.
    We attended the visitation yesterday, and tears came as we watched the slide show
    at Retz Funeral home. We had only known Pat for two short weeks, but he
    was already a friend to us.
    We offer our condolences to his wife, Sarah, to Kevin and the rest of Pat’s
    siblings. and to Pat’s parents and other family members. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  27. Frank and Kathy Loehding says

    Tim, Mary Jane and family,
    We were so terribly sorry to hear of the loss of your son. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. With sincere condolences,
    Frank and Kathy

  28. Dear family, it is quite clear by the comments made about Pat that he is very loved. Please know that our loving God Jehovah well knows your pain, and has promised to soon awaken(John 5:28,29) all those sleeping in death-that includes Pat. May you all find real comfort in God’s word the bible. Take care (

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