In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Blanche Clement Wester, 95

Blanche Clement Wester, 1925-2021
IMB Photo

Blanche Clement Wester, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Zimbabwe and Malawi, died July 30, 2021, at her home. She was 95.

Wester was born Nov. 29, 1925, in Crowville, Louisiana, to the late Elton Richard Clement and Ether Mae Aulds Clement.

Wester wrote when seeking missionary appointment that she was very involved in church activities after accepting Christ as her Savior at age 13. But her early involvement in the Woman’s Missionary Union organization for girls started her interest in missions.

She received the Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana College, Pineville, and the Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. At Louisiana College, she dedicated her life to missions in the United States and served as a summer missionary in Florida one year.

At seminary, missions speakers stirred her heart, and she began to feel God’s call to international missions. “The needs seemed so great, and I wanted to spend my life where it will count most for Him,” she wrote.

At seminary, she also began dating Bill Wester, a fellow student. They were married in 1950 and served small rural churches where he was pastor until the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed them as missionaries to Central Africa in 1955.

The Westers served more than 30 years in Africa, first in Zimbabwe while it was still Southern Rhodesia and then in Nyasaland, which soon became the independent nation of Malawi. During those years, Wester worked with Woman’s Missionary Union, discipleship training, Sunday school and evangelism while also managing her home and raising three children.

After retirement, her family said, she served her church families at First Baptist Church Crowville and First Baptist Church of Toccoa, Georgia.

Wester was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, William S. Wester Sr. Survivors include their son, William S. Wester Jr. (Susan) of Tampa, Florida; two daughters, Esther Martin (Tim) of Toccoa and Mary Stevens (Pat) of Pensacola, Florida; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; three brothers, Lynn Clement of Crowville, Mike Clement (Kathleen) of Pitkin, Louisiana, and Danny Clement (Sylvia) of Denham Springs, Louisiana.

Funeral services were held Aug. 2, 2021, at First Baptist Church Crowville with burial in the Crowville Masonic Cemetery.

Donations in her memory may be made to the International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.

Read an obituary here.