SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. - Flowers lay at the doorstep of mayor, Jim West's home, just 24 hours after the town of San Juan Bautista learned of his passing.
"He was such a good part of our community," said city manager, Michaele LaForge.
Those who worked with West everyday, remembered his life and the joy he brought to the small town of San Juan Bautista. "I considered him a friend. I'm really sad I wasn't here when this happened. I'm gonna really miss him," said city councilman, Tony Boch.
West passed away, Thursday morning, while working his second job at Granite Rock. The San Benito Sheriff's Office said it was another employee that found him.
West balanced his corporate job while serving the community as mayor, for the past year. Before that, he served on the city council for 4 years.
The city said the council will appoint a new mayor on December 18th.
"Jim was like me. He wanted to give back to San Juan Bautista. I don't know why, but there's something about this town that we just love, ya know?" said Boch.
One spot in town that West loved most was Mission Cafe. "He would order his ham and hash
browns, and he'd want his hash browns extra crispy," said the restaurant's cook, Feliciana Montoya.
Montoya said West always sat at the same booth, and hopes the cafe will continue to carry on the mayor's joyful spirit.
"He'll be remembered. He'll be remembered for his old car, for his jovially spirit, for his service. We just dearly miss him. He was just such a wonderful man," said LaForge.