George Reinhold Wester – a photographer to hundreds and a friend to all – died November 10, 2020, at 74 years of age in his home at Temecula, California, surrounded by his loving wife, children, and grandchildren.
George was born on February 15, 1946 to Karl and Ruth Wester in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1952, George immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of six years old. In 1956, the family immigrated once more to the United States where they settled in Long Beach, California. In 1964, George graduated from Wilson High School in Long Beach. After High School, George traveled to Sweden where he worked in a factory with family. On January 16, 1968, George joined the United States Army as a Combat Construction Specialist (Demolition) and after graduating from Basic Training at Fort Ord, California, he was assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri where his life would change. There, he met the love of his life, Annette Williams while visiting the USO in Columbia, Missouri. The two had made eye-contact while reading Sad Sack and Beetle Bailey comics during a dance there. Soon, George would complete his specialized training at Fort Leonard Wood and was reassigned to Wharton Barracks at Heilbron, Germany. After arriving to Germany, George and Annette married on August 30, 1968. One year later, on November 16, 1969, George and Annette celebrated the birth of their first child, Lauri Ann. In 1971, George was reassigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey where he was transferred to the Army Reserves. George and Annette then moved to California that same year where they have remained since that time. Upon arriving in California, George was selected and served on the Army’s shooting team while in the Reserves, winning numerous competitions. On January 27, 1973, George and Annette celebrated the birth of their second child, George Eric. On January 15, 1974, George was honorably discharged from the military having completed his honorable service to our Country. On March 13, 1979, George and Annette celebrated the birth of their third and youngest child, Mikael Reinhold. Life was now perfect.
After leaving the Army, George worked as a weapons instructor, a reserve deputy sheriff, a security officer, and a long-haul truck driver. However, George is most known for his love of photography which he has enjoyed all his life. His photography skills took a sharp interest while in the Army where he had the opportunity to work as a combat photographer in addition to his other roles and responsibilities. After separating from the Army, George continued his passion by opening his own photography studio, Studio West, located in Fountain Valley, California. After retirement, George continued photography for his family and friends, capturing graduations, weddings, holidays, and other special moments in retirement. George could also be seen for almost 20 years taking photographs of First Communion, Confirmation, and other events to capture those critical memories at the Saint Martha Catholic Parish.
George received his education at multiple schools that included: Orange Coast College, Riverside Community College, and the school of Artography, where he also taught. Although George loved photography, he was happiest when he was with his family and friends. With his family and friends, George shared his hobbies that included travel, wood working, target shooting, and photography. In these moments, George always reminded everyone that he was a true patriot, sharing his love for our Country and the military with messages on his hats and shirts that he so often wore over the years.
As George’s health deteriorated, George taught us patience and allowed us to show him a small measure of the love he had long showed to all of us. His memory will be cherished and kept alive by his adoring wife and longtime caretaker, Annette Wester; children, Lauri Ann Laverty (Scott Laverty), George Eric Wester (Diana Wester), and Mikael Reinhold Wester (Betty Wester); his 7 grandchildren, Kathryn (Seth) , Kyle, Owen, Elijah, Anika, Karl, and Tony; his great-grandchildren, Ryder and Madison; his bonus grandson, Michael; and numerous other family and friends.
The family wishes to thank all those who have helped to provide the tender care George so deserved as well as the support to the family during these last couple of weeks. Friends are invited to celebrate George’s life by visiting the viewing and Rosary on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, from 4-8 p.m. at the Evans Brown Mortuary in Sun City. A Catholic Mass will follow on Thursday, November 19, 2020, starting at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Martha Catholic Parish in Murrieta. And, internment will take place on Tuesday, December 1, at the Riverside National Cemetery at 12:00 p.m.
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