Bassett, John Bone ( - 1/21/2018)

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Freshman dorm: 
Wigwam Hall

 




From the Newark News Journal:

John Bone Bassett of Newark, Delaware died on January 21, 2018. He was born in Washington, D. C., the son of William Kerr Bassett and Minerva Bone Bassett and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. Service to others and country was an important part of his upbringing. Although a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and direct descendent of Pilgrims, he said that "It is not when or where you come from that is important, but how you live your own life". 

Jack, as he was known, graduated from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School where he played on the football team and trumpet in the orchestra. He went to Dartmouth College where he enrolled as a physics major and in the Naval ROTC program. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy and was honored as the "Distinguished Naval Graduate" by the Department of the Navy. He became a Lieutenant and was Navigator on the USS Talbot, in the Kennedy Carrier Group. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves as a navigation instructor while at Carnegie Mellon University where he earned an M. S. in Industrial Administration and was honored as a William Larimer Mellon Fellow. Following graduation, he joined Conoco's corporate headquarters in Stamford, CT and became Director of Planning Systems. While at Conoco, he developed the company's first computerized long-range planning system and provided critical support during the corporate takeover battles that resulted in DuPont's acquisition of Conoco. The system was adopted by DuPont. 

Jack used G. I. Bill funding to qualify as a commercial pilot and started Bluenose Aviation, a small airplane leasing business. He pursued a long-distance romance with Carla Sydney Stone, a mining engineer he met at the Conoco cafeteria, and they married in 1980

Jack's lifelong interest in early American history was reflected in his participation in Bicentennial re-enactments and other educational events as a member of the 5th Connecticut Regiment of the Brigade of the American Revolution. Within a short time of arriving in Delaware, Jack was appointed by Governor DuPont as a member of the Delaware Heritage Commission, a post he served in under succeeding Governors Michael Castle and Thomas Carper. He threw himself into the work of preparing Delaware for the State's Bicentennial and that of the Constitution. He represented the State at numerous meetings, events, and re-enactments with then Vice President George H. W. Bush and President Ronald Reagan. His most unusual were riding through Annapolis in a carriage with Senator Strom Thurmond, both dressed as members of the Constitutional Convention.

Jack may be best remembered for his idea to place markers with a large quill pen on each road at the borders of Delaware to commemorate Delaware's status as the first state to sign the Constitution. He was instrumental in the building the of Constitution Park in Dover. Historical and cultural organizations such as Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Road, Greenbank Mill, Pencader Museum, Hale-Byrnes House, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Huguenot Society and Delaware Chapter of People to People International benefitted from his expertise and support. 

In 1986, his infant son, John Stone Bassett, died. In January 1987, he and Carla adopted a daughter. Within minutes of Miriam joining the family, Jack was faced with having to move to Houston to Conoco's new headquarters and risk losing Miriam or staying in Delaware and losing his job. He chose to stay in Delaware and began working for DuPont. Unfortunately, he was laid off just before becoming eligible for retirement. Rather than whine, he began a successful consulting practice. One of his very first clients was DuPont at Chestnut Run, a few steps away from the location where he worked as a full-time employee. He also entered the University of Delaware's Graduate School of Business, passed the CPA exam, and was licensed to practice even before graduating with an M. S. degree in Accounting. He continued consulting until hired by a client where he was responsible for personnel accounting and financial systems for thousands of employees across the US. 

Jack loved music and sang in many choirs, Jewish and Christian. When First & Central Presbyterian Church faced difficulties, he reorganized the church's financial systems and was credited with bringing the church onto a more secure footing. After retirement, Jack joined the Academy of Lifelong Learning and attended until entering the Delaware Veterans Home. 

Jack Bassett is survived by his wife, Carla Sydney Stone of Newark, DE; daughter Miriam Scherer and granddaughters Jacquelyn and Charlotte (PA); Aunt, Dr. Mary Alice Bone Adamson and Uncle Dr. Robert Bone (TX), and nieces Jennifer Bassett (TN) and Deborah Bassett (KY) and their families.