Bill Bass Jr.

BASS, JR., RICHARD WILLIAM (BILL), 89, of Annapolis, Maryland, died on October 9, 2013, after a brief illness. He was born on March 16, 1924, in Denton, Texas, the son of Richard William Bass and Velma King Bass. He studied at Denton High School, North Texas State University, and the University of Texas, where he met Courtenay Wright of Fort Worth. After joining the Navy in 1943, he was appointed to the United States Naval Academy (Class of 1948). He graduated on June 6, 1947, and later that day he and Courtenay were married in the USNA chapel. After serving as an officer on the cruiser Astoria and the USS Missouri, Bill studied Naval Construction and Marine Engineering at MIT from 1950-53, while also qualifying for submarine service and, a few years later, for Reactor Engineering. He supervised shipbuilding projects at Mare Island in California (1954-58) and then, for Naval Reactors, at New York Shipbuilding Co. in Camden, NJ (1960-66). In 1966, Bill moved to the Washington area and became Project Officer for Commissioned Nuclear Submarines, reporting to Admiral Hyman Rickover. After retiring from NR in 1979, he and three NR colleagues formed Basic Energy and Technology Associates (BETA), which consulted on the management of nuclear generating plants. Bill and Courtenay moved to Annapolis in 1978. They lived at Chesapeake Landing, where they kept a succession of three boats named "The Third Wish." Bill's grandchildren, who called him "Popo," fondly remember happy times on the waters of Chesapeake Bay. After Bill and Courtenay moved to Ginger Cove in 2003, he volunteered in many leadership roles and made many good friends. He was active in First Presbyterian Church, Rotary, and an ecumenical men's Bible study group. Bill was preceded in death by Courtenay in 2010. He was the father of Dorothy Courtenay Bass (Mark Schwehn) of Valparaiso, Indiana; Barbara Lee Bass M.D. (Richard Marshall) of Houston, Texas; Richard W. Bass (Diana Butler Bass) of Alexandria, Virginia; and Rebecca Jeanne Bass of Clearwater, Florida. He was the proud grandfather of Martha Schwehn Bardwell, John Rohde Schwehn, and Kaethe Schwehn; Wes and Wyatt Marshall; Jonah and Emma Bass; and Michael and Nathan Schott. He is survived by all of his children and grandchildren; his brother, Dr. Robert King Bass of Dallas, Texas; and his best friend and companion in his final years, Carol Manganaro. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church (171 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis) at 10 a.m. on November 11. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, the Ginger Cove Foundation, and the Courtenay and William Bass Surgical Resident Research Scholarship Fund of the Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation, Houston, Texas. His ashes will be interred in the Columbarium at the USNA. Arrangements are being handled by John M. Taylor Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at

Funeral Home

John M. Taylor Funeral Home
147 DUKE OF GLOUCESTER ST Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 263-4422

Published in The Capital on Oct. 13, 2013