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Wendell Basista

January 6, 1935 - October 21, 2023

U.S. Veteran

Graveside service will take place in 2024 in Limestone, Maine

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Wendell Basista, 88, of Haughton, LA, and Limestone, ME, died unexpectedly on Oct 21, 2023. Mr. Basista is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ruth (Thompson) Basista, two brothers, Thomas Basista of West Leechburg, PA, and James Basista and wife Patty of Lower Burrell, PA, and a number of nephews and nieces. He also leaves behind brothers-in-law Art Thompson and his wife, Fritzie of Limestone, ME, and Thomas Baustert of Scarborough, ME, and many special friends, especially Pete and Trish Frech and Tony and Katy Daves. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, RoseMary Basista Baustert, and sister-in-law Bonnie Yee-Basista. 

Mr. Basista was born on January 6, 1935, in Apollo, PA to Michael and Rosealie (Zalobin) Basista. A 1952 graduate of Apollo High School, he enlisted in the US Navy. On being discharged four years later he went on to study electronics. That led him to a career as a civilian electronics specialist with the US Air Force. He was employed at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, ME. At the time Loring was one of the largest Air Force Bases in the country. It was in Limestone that he met and courted Ruth Thompson. They married in 1961. They later relocated to Haughton, LA in the 70s when Mr. Basista accepted a position at Barksdale Air Force Base. He was employed as a field engineer for electronic counter measures that protect B-52 bombers.  Mr. Basista never lost his affinity for his hometown of Apollo, visiting there regularly. He was particularly fond of returning to the Roaring Run, Jackson Falls area, the scene of many of his youthful adventures. An avid fisherman, he enjoyed several other hobbies, especially painting and photography, and was a steadfast fan of the Steelers and Pirates.  He amassed a large collection of neon beer signs, concentrating on advertising from brewers no longer in business. He also was interested in 1940s and 1950s memorabilia.  

A graveside service will take place in the summer of 2024 in Limestone, ME. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to Roaring Run Watershed Association, PO Box 333, Apollo, PA 15613. Donations should be marked Basista Memorial. Arrangements are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton.