Billy J. Bassett, 81, died February 1, 2020 in Roberta, GA. A memorial service will be held at the Lizella United Methodist Church in Lizella, GA on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 12:00 noon. The family will receive friends from 10:30 am until the service hour.
Dr. Bassett was born in Roanoke, AL to the late Vera Leven Wilkerson and Woodrow W. Bassett of Heard County, GA. Also he was preceded in death by his brother, James S. Bassett of Heard County, Georgia.
Billy graduated from Heard County High School, Franklin, GA in 1956; got his associates degree from Southern Union College, Wadley, Alabama in 1958. He then transferred to Livingston University, Livingston, Alabama (West Alabama State University) and graduated from there in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. After graduation he secured a teaching position in Hogansville, Georgia and taught there for two year. He then transferred to Heard County High School where he taught World History and served as a part-time counselor. There he met his would-be wife, Patricia Jones, who was teaching mathematics and Spanish. They were married June 7, 1964 and moved to Jackson, Georgia to teach. After one year they were employed by Gordon Military College in Barnesville, Georgia. After one year in the Military School they were offered a job at Crawford County High School, Roberta, Georgia. Billy and Patricia both had their Masters' degrees from Auburn University and after coming to Crawford County, continued to work on an advanced degree at Auburn University.
Billy was hired as Principal of Crawford County High School in 1967. He served as the principal of Crawford County High school until his retirement in 1991. During the time of his employment at Crawford County High School he was able to earn his S. Ed degree from Auburn University and his Ed. D degree From Nova, University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After retirement Dr. Bassett served as a consultant to the Crawford County School system for several years. He became a member of the Roberta City Council in January of 2010 and served there through December 2017. Dr. Bassett loved art and was able to pursue his life-long interest in landscape painting during his retirement.
Dr. Bassett and his wife did not have children of their own but had ten exchange students that lived with them and attended school in Crawford County. These students enriched their lives and they became their family. One student in particular, Nora Hafizademi Zureikat, became their daughter. Nora and her daughters, Rina Maria and Ana Lisa, live in Prishtina, Kosovo. Billy and his wife loved and maintained a close relationship with the other exchange students that they claimed as their children. They include Jose (Melissa) Chirinos, Lima, Peru; Alberto (Macarena) Gomez, Madrid, Spain; Gonzalo (Laura) Gomez, Madrid, Spain; Cristina (Alphonso) Gomez, Madrid, Spain; Maria (Antonio) Sanchez, Madrid, Spain; Ignacio Izard, Salamanca, Spain; Andrey (Adriana) Cavalcanti, Receif, Brazil (presently living in Singapore) and Thomas (Sisi) Soler from Brive, France. Other survivors include his wife, Patricia, and two nephews - Malcom Bassett of Wadley, AL and Jason Bassett of LaGrange, GA.
Dr. Bassett served as president of Crawford County Retired Educators. He was long affiliated with Georgia Retired Educators and served as chairman of the Georgia Retired Educators Foundation for many years. Under his leadership the Foundation continued to grant scholarships to certified teachers that wanted to go back to the university and pursue an advanced degree. Dr. Bassett was particularly passionate about building a new office complex and Museum for retired educators. He worked closely with the architect on the design of the building that is located in Flowery Branch, Georgia.
The Roberta Methodist Church was particularly important in his life. He attended and served in several leadership positions in the church. He attended this church for thirty-six years but later transferred his membership to the Lizella United Methodist Church, Lizella GA.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Crawford County Retired Educators or Lizella United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, LUMC, Lizella, GA 31050.
Dr. Bassett felt that he had been truly blessed by God and was grateful for his abundant grace.
McLeighton Funeral Service of Roberta is in charge of arrangements.
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