John Homer Westover
John Homer Westover died Nov. 23, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. with his wife, Susan, by his side. He was born Nov. 28, 1926, in Yuma, Ariz., the son of William H. and Dora B. Westover.
John's family was an essential part of the fabric of Yuma County: His grandfather was a lawyer and a judge as well as the editor of the Yuma Daily Sun. His grandmother Anna Westover was the first woman to be elected to the Arizona State Legislature. His father William H. and uncle John H. Westover comprised the first class graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law.
John joined the Navy after high school, then attended the University of Arizona for undergraduate and law school. He then joined the Westover law firm in Yuma Arizona.
He gained a reputation as a trial lawyer and moved to Phoenix in 1962 to join the law firm which eventually carried his name O'Connor, Cavanagh, Westover, Killingsworth and Beshears. John acted as a mentor to many young lawyers. His demands, support and encouragement of young lawyers produced fine, ethical, skilled men and women. Their permanent regard for him speaks to the wonderful mentoring relationships he crafted. He supported the hiring of women lawyers in the early 1970s when few big Phoenix law firms were giving women opportunities.
John's talent, success and character were recognized by his peers: He was a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and in 2011, he was inducted into the Maricopa County Bar Hall of Fame.
In his personal life, John loved his family, cherished and encouraged his children and grandchildren, and helped almost every one of his four sons and 10 grandchildren to be a loving, caring, honest and responsible adult. He mentored and provided an education to every single child in two generations.
Friends, colleagues and family knew his character: No one ever doubted how he felt or thought. He was a most honest, direct and likeable person, interesting, challenging and fun to be with. John is survived by the love of his life, Susan Greenberg Westover, his sons John Robert and Harry Thomas, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
John was formerly married to Ellen Dean Westover. He was predeceased by two sons Myles Flaiz and William Homer, and his two sisters, Doranna and Virginia Lee. John and Susan married in 1973. They enjoyed a loving, fun 40 years. They traveled together to many countries, eschewing tours, striking out on their own, without reservations or specific plans, but with faith in the experience of the journey. That is an appropriate comment on John's life: He experienced, with good humor and wonder, the journey of life.