William "Bill" Eugene Bassler, 95, passed away on September 2, 2023. He was born in Washington on May 2, 1928, to Joseph S. and Catherine M. (Schneider) Bassler.
A 1946 graduate of St. Meinrad High School, Bill received his Bachelor's Degree from St. Meinrad Seminary in 1950. He further received a Master's Degree from St. Louis University and later a Master's Degree in Education from Indiana University in 1960. He was a life-long teacher who began his teaching career in St. Louis while earning his Master's Degree there. He returned to Washington to teach at St. Mary's Grade School and then went on to teach Latin and English at Jasper High School for twenty-eight years until retiring in 1988. While retired, he volunteer-taught an additional twenty-two years - five years at Washington Catholic High School and seventeen years in various Amish schools in eastern Daviess County. Many of his students fondly recall that he was the best teacher they ever had. Bill was selected as Indiana's Latin Language Fellow of the Ford Foundation in 1969.
A man of many interests, Bill was a true outdoorsman who loved camping, hiking, and walking. He enjoyed visiting national parks. In his younger days he was an avid tennis and handball player. He loved to read and was especially interested in astronomy and geography. He was a devoted member of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church.
Bill's family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Legends Village and Eastgate Manor for their exceptional and loving kindness and care that they provided to him over the past twenty-one months.
Those who cherish Bill's memory include nieces, Mary Jo (Paul) Reynolds of Evansville; Patti (Dean) Edwards of Brownsburg; Karen (Chris) Brown of Washington; nephews, Kevin Carey of Washington; Chris Bassler of Washington; Eric (Julie) Bassler of Washington. Additionally, Bill leaves sixteen great-nieces and nephews and ten great-great nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters: Margaret Lucille (Bassler) Carey, Sr. Mary Elise (Lena Mae) Bassler, Mary Lou Bassler; and a brother, Joseph F. Bassler.
Visitation for Bill Bassler will be 4:00 pm-8:00 pm, Monday, September 11, 2023, at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am, Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church. Father Paul Ferguson will be the celebrant. Burial will be in St. John Cemetery.
Memorial contributions in Bill's memory may be made to St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology at 200 Hill Drive, St. Meinrad, Indiana 47577, or Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church at 315 NE 3rd Street, Washington, Indiana 47501.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.edleemortuary.com.
The staff of the Ed Lee Mortuary is honored to have been entrusted with arrangements for Bill Bassler.
"Bill Bassler was blessed with a brilliant mind and a great heart. I was fortunate to have four years of Latin with Bill at JHS in the 60's. He inspired his students to love language and learning. Bill took a few of his Latin students and me on a trip to some western states in 1965. We camped out most of the time, and slept in a big tent Bill dubbed CASA NOSTRA. It was just an unforgettable experience. Ann Wallace and I had lunch will Bill in Montgomery a few years ago, and he looked as fit and youthful as he did in 1966! Like so many of Bill's former students, I had the greatest admiration for him, and will miss him very much.
"Bill Bassler was my teacher, mentor, and friend for over 60 years. When I was in high school, he gave my life direction and inspired me and many others with his passion for Classics and the ancient world. He was a kind and gentle man with a wonderful sense of humor, much beloved by all his students. The world will be a sadder place without him in it. He was greatly loved and will be terribly missed.
Helena Reckelhoff Dettmer"
"Mr. Bassler was one of a kind! I took two years of Latin, but remember so much more about how he conducted himself and his classes, truly a wonderful man! Rest in peace, dear friend ??????"
"Mr. Bassler was one of the best teachers I?ve ever had. Looking back, I wish I had been a better Latin student but realize I took three years because I enjoyed him so very much. He was one of a kind! May you be surrounded with only the best of memories. With sympathy, a grateful former student.
Sarah Eckert Mardis"
"When I was a new teacher at Jasper High School, Bill took me under his wing to mentor someone who really didn't know what he was doing. Our discussions and his example were of immense help to me and enabled me to enjoy a long, rewarding career in education. Not only did his students admire him, but so did the entire faculty. He was a gentleman and a true Renaissance Man. Rest in peace.
"Mr. Bassler was my favorite teacher. He taught me 3 years of Latin. I was able to win a district Latin contest thanks to him. My vocabulary was greatly improved thanks to him. "
"Mr. Bassler was my Latin teacher at Jasper High School many years ago. I do indeed fondly remember him as the best teacher I ever had. "
"Mr. Bassler was my Latin instructor at Jasper High School in the early 60's. Not only was he an excellent teacher, his dignity and integrity set a wonderful example for his students. He will be remembered with respect and admiration."