William Ernest “Pete” Bassham, age 89, of Niceville, FL, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2022. Pete was born in Mount Pleasant, TN, to Henry Edward and Nannie Frizzell Bassham. A fun loving sweetheart of a guy, he was voted ‘Best All Round’ his senior year of high school. The oldest son of nine children, he enlisted at 17 serving four years as an Army Air Corps and Air Force medic during the Korean War, sending his entire pay home to help support his family. After returning home, he became a skilled brick mason and carpenter, and later graduated from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University while working full time managing married student housing, supporting campus maintenance, and providing security. He retired after 34 years as Business Director for school systems in Tennessee.
Pete thoroughly enjoyed boating, camping, watching Lady Vols basketball and UT football games, and spending time with his two cats, Midnight and Simon. And he loved taking his family on adventures to see the history and landmarks of the Old West. Kind and caring, always with a smile - a big cutup with a wonderful sense of humor who loved to bike around the neighborhood bringing smiles and laughter to everyone. After returning home from service during the Korean War, he met the love of his life, Judy, at a high school dance and together they shared a beautiful life of 63 years, raising a family, working hard to help others, and loving and supporting each other. They were a wonderful couple who shared a deep and abiding love and affection that never failed in wanting for each other’s happiness - a gift in the lives of their sons of what it means to truly love another and the beautiful life that comes from such a love. Devoted parents who were always there with an encouraging word, Pete never missed a scouting trip, band event, baseball game or tennis match, and he always made time for a game of catch.
A wonderful, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend whose unwavering love and commitment was a steadfast source of strength and support. His gentle, sweet, caring nature radiated warmth and love and encouragement. A truly remarkable person who lived with laughter and love and worked hard to give his family a wonderful life. Generous, humble and loving - a shining example of a kind and honorable man who will forever be deeply admired and loved.
He is survived by the joys of his life - devoted sons, Brent and Kevin Bassham, and grandchildren, Abby Skye Bassham, Gabe Freeland and Trent Scott.
Visitation will be 10-11:00 am on Thursday, March 17, 2022, at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Church, Niceville. A funeral Mass will begin at 11:00 am with interment to follow in Heritage Gardens Cemetery.
You may send flowers, express condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.
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