Paul Wesley Aitken was born August 19, 1924 in Colver, Pennsylvania and died at home in Durham on August 28, 2014 after a brief illness. He was predeceased by his son, Timothy Paul Aitken and by his parents, Thomas Lambie and Emma Newton Aitken. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Aitken to whom he was married for 66 years and his son Daniel Thomas Aitken. He is also survived by a brother Louis Aitken of Iowa and a sister Elaine Ruffner of California. Wes served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. He attended the University of Charelston in West Virginia where he met and married Ruth. In 1951 they came to Durham for Wes to attend Duke Divinity School. After graduation he was employed by Duke Medical Center where he began a chaplaincy program at Duke Hospital. Wes later established one of the first clinical pastoral education programs. Wes retired in 1987 after 32 years of touching countless lives with his love, patience and wisdom. He then continued to volunteer with the Hospital Auxiliary for many years. Wes and Ruth enjoyed traveling but especially relaxing at their home on Kerr Lake. The Lake House became the family refuge and retreat where they laughed and played with many friends and their ever expanding family. Wes is survived by five grandchildren: Cameron, Blair, Hilary, Liang and Wesley. That ever expanding family included a few who must be mentioned for their love and support over the years but most especially these last few days of Wes' life, Janet Aitken, Sandra Honnold, Michael O'Connor, Betsy O'Connor, Mary Jo Abernethy, Gaye Slaughter, and Fuguang Aitken. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the P. Wesley Aitken Endowment or Duke Home Hospice.
A service will be held at Duke Chapel Tuesday, September 9th at 2:30 p.m.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer