Dr. Clifton Forrest West Jr. of Chestertown, Md. died peacefully in his sleep on Feb. 28. He was 99.

He was the loving father of Betsy West Dripps.

For more than 50 years, he and his family spent every summer on East Chop. He loved swimming at the East Chop Beach Club, sailing at the East Chop Yacht Club and going out fishing in his son in law’s Boston Whaler.

He was born in Kinston, N.C. on September 19, 1923, the son of the late Dr. Clifton Forrest and Susan Perry West. His father was the only doctor in town and started his practice riding horseback with his little black bag to visit his patients.

Dr. West graduated high school from the Woodberry Forrest School and went on to be a pre-med student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His mentor and favorite professor there was Dr. Isaac (Ike) Taylor, the father of Alex, James, Livingston. Hugh and Kate. He completed his medical training at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

In 1946 he married the love of his life, the late Joan Darby. He was a devoted and loving husband for 73 years.

He was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, serving as a surgeon in a MASH unit on the frontlines during the Korean War. After the war he was stationed in Japan where his young family could join him. With his family and friends, he loved sharing his stories about creating a MASH unit.

Dr. West spent his medical career at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia where he was a general surgeon. He had a wonderful bedside manner, giving each patient the best possible care. They all loved him. He also enjoyed mentoring and teaching the interns, residents and nurses who were lucky enough to work with him.

After his retirement he and Joan went on many wonderful trips all over the world, sharing their adventures with family and friends. They loved their farm in Chestertown on the Chester River, with his sailboat on the dock ready to go right out in front of his house. He enjoyed swimming, fishing, hunting, sailing and was especially fond of playing golf.

He had a particular love for gardening and growing plants. He grew camellias and azaleas from seeds or cuttings along with orchids and bonsais. He loved building and planting troughs for his alpine plants that he also started from seed. For many years he entered many of his alpine troughs in the Philadelphia Flower Show and always came home with many ribbons, even receiving 30 individual ribbons in one year.

Dr. West was an active member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chestertown, the St. Andrew’s Society, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md. and the North American Rock Garden Society. He served for nine years on the board of Kent and Queen Anne’s Hospital, including serving as board chairman. He also served on the board of the United Way.

He was a loving father to his children and is survived by them: Betsy Dripps and her husband Craig, Forrest West and his wife Patricia, Carolyn Pace and her husband Kevin, and Doug West and his wife Sue. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren, all of whom he knew and loved. His grandchildren Wes Dripps, Marion Harris, Heidi Thompson and Perry Dripps, along with his great-grandchildren Aidan, Ian and Emelyn Harris, Ellie and Sadie Dripps, and Liam and Shilah Thompson were lucky to have shared the Vineyard with him and four generations, all in the same house.