On Jan. 27, 2017, following a short illness, Geraldine Margaret Mary Dempsey Basso, age 85, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. She was born Aug. 7, 1931, in Suffern, New York, where she spent her years until graduating from Suffern High School in 1949.
She then attended and graduated from Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York, New York. She proceeded to marry her partner for life, Alfred J. Basso, enjoying 62 years together until his death in 2014.
Gerry and Al were married Aug. 30, 1952, and spent their early years in Paramus, New Jersey, creating a life for themselves. It wasn’t long before that life together started to include children, and a lot of them. They had a total of eight kids and raised them in Ramsey, New Jersey, initially and eventually settled in Hockessin, Delaware, in 1971. No matter where Gerry lived, she made her house a home, was dedicated to her community and always a loyal friend.
While living in Hockessin, she was an active member of St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church as a coordinator of Lectors, Liturgy Committee member and most near and dear to her heart, co-founder of St. Mary’s Youth Group. Anyone involved with the youth group during her reign was challenged by Gerry to find their singing voice during Sunday evening Mass, whether they wanted to or not!
She had an amazing gift for connecting with parish teens and helping them to discover God’s presence in their everyday life. Professionally, Gerry returned to work at the University of Delaware after her kids were grown or in school. She enjoyed her employment with the Bartol Research Foundation. Specifically, she was fascinated by the research being done at the South Pole and was always proud to be a part of it in some small way.
Gerry began a new life adventure in 1988 when she left those she loved in Delaware for Al’s career opportunity in Orlando, Florida. Never one to remain on the sidelines for long, she found employment with the distinguished Isleworth community as an executive administrative assistant. In 1997, both she and Al fully retired and moved to Hyde Park in Winter Garden, Florida, where she continued to impact her community and embrace her new and much deserved easygoing lifestyle.
She was involved in organizing and supporting social events in Hyde Park and, to a much greater extent, actively engaged with her wonderful parish, Resurrection Catholic Church. She was coordinator for the Ministry to the Sick, a Eucharistic minister, a lector and a member of the Bereavement Ministry, all of which were callings she was so passionate about.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Pat Dempsey of Nanuet, New York; her sister, Marita Deraney of Midland Park, New Jersey; her sister-in-law, Nora Dempsey of Mahwah, New Jersey; her eight children, Mary Pat Moore of Healdsburg, California; Jim Basso of Wilmington, Delaware; Alfred J. Basso Jr. (Debbie) of Wilmington, Delaware; Christopher Basso (Walter Briski) of San Francisco, California; Carolyn Plyler (Mark) of Lawrenceville, New Jersey; Annmarie Boelter (Karl) of Wilmington, Delaware; Gerald Basso of Winter Garden, Florida; Elizabeth Cheplick (Dennis) of Clermont, Florida; 11 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many loving nieces and nephews. She was blessed to have the love and support of many dear friends and neighbors.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Roger Patrick and Bertha Dempsey of Suffern, New York; her brother, Jack Dempsey of Mahwah, New Jersey; her son-in-law, Benjamin Moore of Healdsburg, California; and her beloved husband, Alfred J. Basso of Winter Garden, Florida.
A Memorial Mass will be held to celebrate Gerry’s blessed life at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 25, 2017, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 1211 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Winter Garden, Florida 34787. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to VITAS Hospice, 2201 Lucien Way, Suite 100, Maitland, FL 32751
A luncheon will take place immediately following the Mass at Hyde Park Community Clubhouse, 14253 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden, Florida 34787.