Meet our silent partner; the extraordinary Patricia Lubben Bassett.
The Dallas Morning News, Texas
Obituary published April 24, 1995
Patricia Lubben Bassett, Community Volunteer, Dies
Patricia Lubben Bassett, a Dallas native and civic leader in Roswell, New Mexico, died Saturday of respiratory failure after a severe asthmatic attack on April 14.
Mrs. Bassett, 55, who was widely recognized for her civic efforts, was the wife of John W. Bassett Jr., a member of the board of directors of A.H. Belo Corp., parent company of The Dallas Morning News. Her father, Joseph A. Lubben, and grandfather, John F. Lubben, worked a total of 101 years for Belo; her parents were employees at The News when they met. Her father, a former executive vice president and general manager of the newspaper, died last June. Her grandfather worked in every department of the Galveston Daily News, which was then owned by Belo, and was a boyhood friend of The News founder George Bannerman Dealey. John Lubben eventually became secretary-treasurer of Belo's Dallas operation. "Both my parents were extremely community-project oriented," she once told the Roswell Daily Record. "It was part of my family philosphy to be concerned for others." "Pat Bassett embodied all that is good in our world," said Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As someone whose entire life was interwoven with A.H. Belo Corp. and The Dallas Morning News, Pat was dedicated to the company's purposes and loved the institution and its people. "Pat's spirited support of Belo reflected the extent to which the company was a part of her life. Her death is a tragic loss for all of us."
Mary Irene Stevens of Santa Fe, a friend of Mrs. Bassett for nearly two decades, described her as devoted to helping and encouraging girls and women through the Roswell Girls Club and other community work. "She just made little girls feel what real value they had as women and as people," Mrs. Stevens said. "She was so instrumental in making so many young women in Roswell proud of themselves for being valuable people."
About two years ago, Mrs. Bassett served on a committee at the New Mexico Military Institute to help make sure women cadets were "fully part of the corps," Mrs. Stevens said. Her unexpected death was a shock, Mrs. Stevens said. "I think Roswell will be much the poorer for the loss." "She could always see some kind of humor and hope, even in the most difficult of situations," said Marietta Scurry Johnson, a friend since their school days at The Hockaday School in Dallas. Mrs. Bassett met her husband at Mrs. Johnson's wedding. Mrs. Johnson said her friend was comfortable with everyone, whether a pregnant homeless teenager or a White House dinner guest.
When Mrs. Bassett moved to Roswell, her friends wondered how she would like living in a small town after growing up in Dallas society, Mrs. Johnson said. "She went to that town and opened her arms and greeted everyone in that town," she said. Mrs. Bassett graduated from Hockaday in 1957. She soon began her civic efforts on behalf of women. In the early 1960s, Mrs. Bassett volunteered to work with girls living in Dallas public housing projects. Thirty years later, she was recognized for her continuing efforts to better the lives of children. In 1991, Mrs. Bassett was one of 30 women to be recognized by the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women. "All of my volunteer work has been done to better the lives of children, mostly girls," she said in accepting the award.
Mrs. Bassett attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, before earning a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin in 1961. She married Mr. Bassett in May 1965, after working as a Dallas travel agent. The couple lived in Washington, D.C., while Mr. Bassett was on a one-year White House fellowship as an assistant to the attorney general. "It was the best year we ever had in our lives, as far as high-powered daily excitement," she told the Roswell newspaper.
In 1967, the couple moved to Roswell, where they raised their family and Mrs. Bassett continued her civic work. Mrs. Bassett was a founding member of the Roswell Girls Club in 1968 and served on the club's board. She later became president of the Roswell organization, a board member of the Girls Clubs of America and co-chairwoman of the group's 1987 national conference in Dallas. She was president of the Roswell Museum of Art Center Foundation, served on the United Way's board, was vice president of Reach 2000: Women and Children, and was a trustee of Hockaday.
In 1990, Mrs. Bassett founded Roswell Yes!, the first professional recruitment and relocation service in Roswell. The Bassetts also became touring cyclists. Together, they took extended vacation tours of France, Austria, Hungary and Canada.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Bassett is survived by a daughter, Loren P. Bassett of Dallas; a son, Tripp Bassett of Los Angeles; a sister, Peggy Gould of Athens, Texas; and her mother, Lorene "Rene" Lubben of Dallas.