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Richard Henry Basden

Basden, Richard Henry
77, of Peoria, Arizona passed away on 29 October 2013. Richard Henry Basden was born on 9 July 1936, the fifth of eight children of Ralph and Alma Basden, in Miami, Florida. He was a mischievous child.

Richard graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami in 1955, after which he enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) as a Non-Commissioned Officer. His first posting after Basic Training was at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas where he met Johnnie Roberts, the love of his life. Richard served in the USAF for 30 years and rose to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant. During his military service, Richard was awarded numerous honors, including the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters, among others. He retired from the USAF in 1985 with a wealth of friendships acquired throughout his career on three continents and numerous Air Force bases.

Upon retiring from the USAF, Richard enrolled at Glendale Community College (GCC) in Glendale, Arizona to study Sociology and Social Work. He earned two Associates Degrees at GCC and was recognized on the President's Honor List. Richard was very proud of his academic achievement and was very quick to point out to young and old alike that you were never too old to learn something new.

In 1987, Richard began a second career in social work, leading to a career with the Maricopa County Juvenile Court System where he served as a Supervisor at the Durango Juvenile Detention Center. Richard served at Durango for fifteen years, until his retirement in 2004.

Richard was an active Baptist and church leader throughout his adult life, serving in numerous roles in the Church. Most recently, he was ordained as a Deacon at Gideon Missionary Baptist Church of Surprise, Arizona where he also served as Treasurer.

Richard is survived by Johnnie Basden, his wife and constant companion of over 55 years; sons Richard II and wife Leanne, and Nicholas and wife Vivian; and five grandchildren, Richard III, Christian, Olivia, Gabriel, and Noah. His family will miss him terribly, but take comfort in knowing that he is with God.

Richard is also survived by five of his siblings -- Malvese King of Miami, Florida; Gloria Jackson of Phoenix, AZ; Inez Basden of Adelphi, Maryland; Elaine Pearison of Huntsville, Alabama; and, Andrew Basden of Covington, Georgia ; two sister-in-laws, Claudette Crawford of Midwest City, Oklahoma and Essie Brown and husband, O.T. Brown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and a host of loving nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on 9 November at Gideon Missionary Baptist Church of Surprise, 12763 N Grand Avenue, Surprise, AZ 85374.

Richard will be buried at the Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Dixon, California at 11 a.m. on 14 November 2013 with full military honors.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Nov. 12, 2013
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