Donald Bassi, 87, passed at twilight Nov. 30. He was surrounded by his trees and creek plus his family and caregivers.
He had been a resident of McMinnville for 49 years. In May, 1969, he visited McMinnville and loved it at first sight. It took until Sept. 1969 to complete the move from Florida to Tennessee. Don was born in Chicago, Ill., in 1930. He went to Catholic Schools, finishing high school in 1948. After serving his country during the Korean Conflict, he went to Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., where he graduated in 1955 with a degree in Construction Engineering. While visiting his parents in Florida, he started working for Rinker Concrete Company. He was manager for the Merritt Island plant that provided all the concrete needed to build the Merritt Island Launch Area. He also served as the trouble shooter with the Corps of Engineers. It was in Merritt Island where he met his wife Glennis. She was a teacher in the Brevard County Schools. They were wed in June 1965. With the Cape Kennedy downsizing, Don accepted a job offer from General Shale Brick in Johnson City. General Shale had purchased McMinnville Concrete and Block. There were five plants and a sand mine, all in the Upper Cumberland. Don treasured the years he worked with all the people at those plants. In 1976, Don opened “The Kitchen Table” on Courthouse Square. It was a place for people that cooked and entertained. It was a specific place for many. He had the entire Wilton Cake Decorating items. When he went to work for Arnold Engineering Development Center at Arnold AFB, he set up “The Kitchen Garage” at his home. He worked at AEDC until he retired, only to start work as a contract worker, the next day. He finally stopped in his late seventies. Loving his jobs lasted his whole life. He was preceded in death by his parents Andrew B. Bassi, Jr. and Marquerite T. Bassi of Chicago, Ill., and Stuart, Fla., brother and sister-in-law Andrew and Antoinette K. Bassi, III of Crystal Lake, Mich., and Bay Village, Ohio.
He is survived by his wife, Glennis Ann, with whom he was married for 52 years, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Randy and Bobbi Maltsberger. Other survivors include nieces and nephews. Don always was grateful he could list Cathie Bryan or Teresa Frothingham as his emergency back-ups if Glennis was unavailable. He appreciated the care he received from the doctors and their staff and efforts of rehab staff at St. Thomas River Park, VA McMinnville and VA Murfreesboro. NHC Home Care, including Shondee Foster and Jamie Harriman, were with him the last two years of his life. The care he received from his caregivers Brenda Bennett, Vickie Sparks, and Teresa Frothingham were most appreciated.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12 at Bascom United Methodist Church, 5311 Vervilla Rd., Morrison, TN 37357. Inurnment will follow at Bascom Cemetery. Military grave rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 173 and VFW Post 5064. The family will receive friends at the church. Memorial donations may be made to Meals on Wheels, 106 E. End Dr., McMinnville, TN 37110. www.mcminnvillefuneralhome.com.