Emma V. Gustavson de Bastos, 82, a resident of the Meadows Manor Assisted Living home in Dallas for the past seven years, died Friday, June 21, 2013. She resided on Long Island, N.Y., for almost 40 years and after that in Southbury, Conn., before relocating to Pennsylvania.
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She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Nov. 30, 1930, the youngest child of two Swedish immigrants, the late Albin and Anna Niklason Gustavson, who came to America in the early 1900s. She had four siblings: three brothers, Arnold, Sidney and David, and a sister, Ingrid, all of whom preceded her in death.
Emma was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from Fort Hamilton High School, Wagner College on Staten Island, and earned her master's degree in special education from Stony Brook University.
She taught for numerous years as a high school English teacher, and later in elementary and special education. She began her teaching career in the Bedford- Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mrs. de Bastos devoted much of her time as a volunteer to various charitable organizations; also serving on the Board of Directors of the St. James Nursing Home, St. James, N.Y., for more than 30 years. She had a great love for animals, taking in animals in need of a home and supporting numerous animal charities. She also had a great love for music and the arts; she played the piano and also enjoyed singing.
She was a wonderful mother who at the age of 39, after losing her husband, Dr. Manuel de Bastos, in 1970, devoted her life to her children, raising them on her own. She was also a devoted grandmother who traveled to either Massachusetts or Pennsylvania to be part of every significant event in the lives of her grandchildren.
She suffered from Alzheimer's disease for the past 10 years.
Emma is survived by her three children, Debra de Bastos, of Sudbury, Mass.; Donna Fromel, Dallas; and David de Bastos, Wollaston, Mass.; two sons-in-law, Nowell Bloomenthal and William Fromel; and her three grandchildren, Matthew and Michelle Fromel, Dallas; and Molly Bloomenthal, Sudbury, Mass. In addition, she is survived by a sister-in-law, Ethel Gustavson, and nieces, Linda Bangham and Vendla Esler.
A private funeral service followed by interment in Pinelawn Cemetery will be held on Long Island on Thursday.
Memorial contributions in Emma's name may be made to the Meadows Manor, 200 Lake St., Dallas, PA 18612.
Published in Citizens' Voice on June 26, 2013