GREENFIELD - Ronald E. "Punky" Bassett, 81, of Earl Avenue, died Sunday morning (4-29-12) at home after a 10-year struggle with serious health issues.
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He was born in Greenfield on April 2, 1931, the son of Clarence W. and Alberta (Northway) Bassett. He attended Greenfield schools and graduated from Greenfield High School in 1949.
Enlisting in the U.S. Army in July of 1950, he served during the Korean Conflict as a paratrooper. Injured in a jump on the coast of Japan, he spent one year in recovery and was sent back to duty as a company clerk. He served in Korea, the Panama Canal Zone and Fort Drum, N.Y.
During his service time he married his wife of 60 years, Barbara Griswold of Northfield on Nov. 12, 1951 at the parsonage of the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield by the Rev. Joseph Reeves and was sealed in the Washington Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Oct. 8, 1993. They spent their whole married life in Greenfield, more than 50 years on Earl Avenue.
He was employed by the USPS as a carrier, retiring in 1987, after which he held several part-time jobs with Reil Services and his church, where he also served in many other capacities.
He had many friends and interests including carpentry which he learned from his Dad and Grampa, gardening, hunting and fishing, helping others and fun times with family and friends. He also kept the Tropical Pet Store in business.
He is survived by his wife Barbara of 60 years and five sons: Jon and his wife Eva (Brown) of Bernardston, Andrew and his wife Lauri (Atkins) of Greenfield, James and his wife Cheryl (Sedlak) of Greenfield, Daniel and his companion Barbara Elliott of Shelburne and Jesse and his wife Jennifer (Graves) of Greenfield; three daughters, Annmarie Mason and her husband Sean of Bernardston, Jennifer Willor and her husband Brian of Greenfield and Catherine Campbell and her husband Kenneth of Franklin; 23 grandchildren ranging from 33 years to 9 months, and four great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by siblings, Clarence Jr., Beverly Duprey, Bonnie Friel and Sandra Facey.
Funeral services will be Thursday (5-3-12) at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 92 Colrain Road, Greenfield. President John Newton will preside. Burial with full military honors will follow in West Northfield Cemetery, Northfield.
Calling hours will be Wednesday evening (5-2-12) from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Kidder Funeral Home, 1 Parker Ave., Northfield, MA 01360.
Memorial contributions are suggested to VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, P.O. Box 329, Northampton, MA 01061-0329.
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Published in The Recorder on May 1, 2012
Kidder Funeral Home
1 Parker Avenue Northfield, MA 01360