Basil Boss

Date of Birth

June 7, 1918

Date of Death

March 12, 2010

City of Death

Santa Barbara

June 7, 1918 – March 12, 2010

Basil was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He was sixteen years old in the middle of the Great Depression when his father died, leaving Basil a lot of responsibility to help the family of six children. Still, there was always piano playing and singing in the house. Two of his sisters, Barbara and Midge, survive him. He served in the Rainbow Division in World War II, carrying artillery across France and Germany and being among the troops liberating Dachau. He returned to South Bend, married Dorothy Reid of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and eventually they had a daughter Diane (who lives in Santa Barbara) and a son Rick (who, sadly, passed away in 2008). In 1952, they moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico so Basil could study with the nuclear physicists in the Lab and then on to Chicago for the University of Chicago. For most of his working life, Basil designed and sold chemical machining equipment. He and his family continued to live in the Chicago area (Hinsdale) until he and his wife retired to Tennessee where they built a lovely home by a lake and enjoyed many years boating on the water and spending time with friends.

After his wife died, he moved to Santa Barbara to be near his children and grandson Cooper. He commented regularly on the beauty of this area and loved to sit with his daughter by the ocean, looking at the water and watching the people and the dogs. He would be quiet for a while and then say, “This is so much fun.” At the age of 91, he was still reading science magazines and would save the articles on the environment and alternative energy for his daughter who serves on the board of Santa Barbara’s Community Environmental Council.

He enjoyed his last four years at Villa Santa Barbara where he made good friends. A wonderful celebration of his life was held there after his passing. There were many comments about what a gentleman he was and about his beautiful singing voice. His family wants to express their appreciation for the fondness and regard expressed to him there by friends and staff.

We also want to thank Drs. Ilvento, Kupperman, Kwako and Armet for their excellent and heartful care of Basil. And, in his final days, the staff at Mission Terrace were as kind as they were professional.

So many people felt better just to be in Basil’s company. He was genuinely interested in whomever he was with, in all of life, and had an ever-ready sense of humor. He is missed, but recalling his beautiful being is a constant treasure.


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