Bassett, Jean Marie MENANDS On a beautiful spring day, Jean Marie Bassett (Gibbs) died peacefully at her home on March 31, 2013 surrounded by her loving husband John, her children Amanda, Justin and Elena, her family and friends. She passed away after a very full 49 years. Jean Gibbs was born to Tom and Maryanne Gibbs on May 29, 1963, the fourth of seven children in Menands and lived in the Capital Region throughout her life. She soon met and married her high school sweetheart and best friend, John Bassett. Together for 27 years, they raised their three loving children. Jean was a lifelong teacher who lived by her philosophy of finding the joy in learning and the unique nature in every child she taught. She loved every stage of her 28-year career: from her beginning years in the Albany city schools, to the pre-school level, and her years in North Colonie School District, most recently her beloved Blue Creek. The Blue Creek Elementary School community quickly became part of her family. Her role in the school went well beyond the classroom walls and into the hearts of the staff, students, and their families. On any given day, Jean could be seen in the community garden, running a play practice, creating a reading adventure in the room, or showing up to school with multi-colored hair so that the children would not be frightened with the changes they might see as a result of her illness. Jean was active in many organizations in the Menands community. She was a longtime member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Menands and most recently St. Edward Catholic Church in Clifton Park. She was a soccer and softball coach and was a long-time participant in Afrim's Moms' Soccer League. She joined many organizations as a result of her cancer diagnosis and was an annual participant in Relay for Life. She especially enjoyed the camaraderie of her Wednesday Recurrence Group at the Hope Club (previously Gilda's Club). Originally diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2009, she was faced with a prognosis of having four months to live when cancer spread to her brain in October 2010. The prognosis only reinforced her stubborn determination to live life to its fullest and fill her days with sunshine and chocolate. She traveled as extensively and as often as her treatment allowed, including trips to Hawaii, St. Maarten and a wonderful trip to Lourdes as guests of the Knights of Malta. She saw a Bruce Springsteen concert whenever possible and Springsteen's "No Surrender" and "Waiting on a Sunny Day" were just a few of the themes she preached on her amazing Caring Bridge website, called Focus on the Positive. The site name was from an inspiring quote from the late Benjamin Stowell, a Blue Creek student who "taught her how to cope" with cancer. Jean is a 1981 graduate of Catholic Central High School and earned her bachelor's degree from the College of St. Rose (1985) and her master's degree from UAlbany. She is survived by her husband, John and their three children, Amanda, Justin and Elena; her mom, Maryanne and dad, Thomas Gibbs; brothers and sisters, Terri O'Brien (Pete) of Ballston Lake; Linda Gibbs (Tom McMahon) of Brooklyn; Tom Gibbs of Menands; Margaret Malicki (John) of Loudonville; Teddy Gibbs (Maria) of Birmingham, Ala. and Sara Gibbs of Alta, Utah. Survivors also include her father-in-law, Don Bassett of Clifton Park; and her in-laws, Mike Bassett (Joyce) of Clifton Park; Matt Bassett (Tracy) of Syracuse; Susan Graves (Roland) of Slingerlands; and Brian Bassett (Tina) of Lynn Haven, Fla.. Her 22 nieces and nephews loved Aunt Jean and her ability to unite a family by organizing a game at family functions or lend an inspiring word when life was tough. Jean's family would like to extend a thank you to all the doctors and caregivers for their care and support. She also would like to thank the Blue Creek community for fulfilling her life dream of being a teacher and for their support. Calling hours will be from 3-7 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church, 569 Clifton Park Center Road, Clifton Park. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 9 a.m. in St. Edward the Confessor Church. Interment Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Niskayuna. Donations in Jean's memory can be made to Blue Creek PTA /Community Garden, 100 Clinton Road, Latham NY 12110 and Hope Club, 1 Penny Lane, Latham NY 12110. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home in Latham. For more information or to light a memory candle for the family please visit dufresneandcavanaugh.com
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Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home Ltd.
149 Old Loudon Road Latham, NY 12110
Published in Albany Times Union from Apr. 1 to Apr. 2, 2013