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CLAUDIA ANN BASHA 2/14/1948 - 6/9/2013 Claudia Ann Basha, Educator, Director, World Traveler, Horsewoman, Wife, and Dear Friend passed away June 9, 2013 at home after battling cancer. Claudia was probably best known as a professor for 24 years at Victor Valley College where she taught various English and French classes. In addition, while at VVC, she directed many plays including, "The Dining Room", "Dangerous Liaisons", "Deathtrap", "Love Letters", "The Vagina Monologues", "Fuddy Meers", "Mousetrap", "Harvey", "Plaza Suite" and "Romeo and Juliet". She was exceedingly devoted to her students, and they will be her legacy. Claudia was born on Valentine's Day 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights. She attended the University of Illinois, graduating with Honors in 1970 with a BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Claudia married Lee Basha, an officer in the United States Air Force, in 1969. For the next 20 years, they lived wherever military assignments took them; California, Florida, Thailand, Georgia, Arizona, Spain and Oklahoma. They ultimately settled in Apple Valley and have lived here for over 30 years. Education was an integral part of Claudia's life. She earned a Masters Degree at Oklahoma State University in 1985, specializing in French Linguistics, Curriculum and Instruction. She also studied in Avignon, France and did additional graduate work at Cal State San Bernardino. Claudia had a lifelong interest in literature and drama, which led to her work in the theater department at VVC. During her years at VVC, she only missed one semester and then, only because she had a heart transplant. Another of Claudia's passions was animals, both large and small. In 1996, Claudia and Lee established Summerwind Canyon Ranch in south Apple Valley as a breeding and training facility for American Paint Horses and Quarter Horses. Over the years, she saw many foals born on the ranch. Claudia fulfilled one of her wishes when she saw our last baby on the day she was born, May 15. The filly is named Creme Brulee, and it is no coincidence that she shares Claudia's initials. What you may not know about Claudia: Played cello as a child, learned to skydive for free in college (she was dating the instructor), learned to play guitar in Spain, avid Bridge player, Jeopardy devotee, spoke Spanish and German, in addition to French. For her, there was only one sports season-Football Season - (Go Packers!). Many colleagues, friends and students accompanied Claudia on tours she organized to New York, London, Paris and other parts of France and Italy. Claudia not only loved to travel but loved sharing the experience. Claudia is survived by her husband of 43 years Lee, her mother Marion Johnson, sisters Pamela Vande Vegte and Emmy Lou Johnson. It would be an oversight not to mention those many creatures she loved and cherished, including her beloved horse Rusty. They loved her too, and will miss her so very much. At some future time, we will find a way to celebrate Claudia's life. She was important to and loved by so many people. We will all miss her and we will never forget her. Donations may be made in Claudia's name to Desert Communities United Way or to the Victor Valley College Foundation.
Published in the Daily Press from June 21 to June 23, 2013
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