Ernest W. West, an executive with Northrop Grumman Amherst Systems, died Feb. 12 when Continental Flight 3407 crashed in Clarence. He was 54.
Mr. West -- "Ernie" to those who knew him -- was born in Derry, N.H. After high school, he served in the Air Force.
He then began his career with Northrop Grumman. He became deputy director for business development.
A Clarence resident, Mr. West was instrumental in bringing in many large military projects that helped the company grow and prosper, his boss, Larry Campos, said.
"Ernie was my No. 1 sales guy," Campos said. "When he joined Northrop Grumman we had approximately a little over 200 employees. Today, we have 600. Most of this growth is directly a result of the tireless efforts of Ernie West."
Over the years, Mr. West took college courses, always earning A's. He was on track to finally getting his bachelor's degree this summer through Capella University, an online college.
Mr. West was a board member of the Association of Old Crows.
Survivors include his wife, Jennifer Kirchner; mother, Marion; a son, Alex; and a daughter, Summer Tyme.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. next Saturday in Resurrection Life Fellowship, 2145 Old Union Road, Cheektowaga.