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Terry Dennis Bassham passed away on Friday, May 11, 2018 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. He was born on May 5, 1942 in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee and was the son of Olan Bassham and Frances Douglas Bassham. He is survived by his daughter, Lisa Demike of Woodbury, Minnesota; his son, Taylor Bassham of Woodbury, Minnesota; his sister, Patricia Dawn Vankirk (Emory) of Derby, Kansas; three grandchildren, Hunter, Jake and Caroline Nickoloff of Woodbury, Minnesota; as well as many friends – too numerous to mention.
He had a great love for learning, which came to him in midlife, and he was an avid reader and researcher. He had many passions in life: great music including everything from the Blues to Classical, almost every sport of which he participated in many, traveling, fellowshipping with his friends and a tremendous spiritual love of the outdoors. Perhaps his greatest love was anything historical, in particular the Civil War, and his travels carried him all over America and always were centered around historical sites and locations.
Terry attended Central High School in Manchester, Tennessee, Lipscomb University where he received his Bachelors Degree and Peabody College of Vanderbilt University where he received his Masters Degree. He began working for the Tennessee Department of Corrections upon graduation and then moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania four years later where he was the Assistant Superintendent at an agency for socially deprived children. When he returned to Nashville, Tennessee, he was a consultant to teachers for eight years before becoming the Executive Director of Impact Centers, Inc. in Columbia, Tennessee. He served in that capacity for over thirteen years and then moved on as the Director of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners. He closed out his career as first, the Assistant Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services for seven years and then, as the Manager of Administration at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville for five years.
He was deeply dedicated to his father and mother, his sister, his children and his grandchildren. He came, later in life, to develop a deep spirituality through his involvement with those who had great difficulty and hardship, but who had overcome those trials and hopelessness to grow into some of the best people that he had met. His love for them was timeless. He had a deep sense of a higher power who had changed their lives and could lead anyone throughout the deepest despondency.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1 P.M. Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland. A visitation will be from 12 to 1 P.M. Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland.