Cancer is a terrible disease. Today is the day my Dad, Joe Basile, would be turning 95 if cancer had not struck him down in 2007.
As all sons do, I think about Dad a lot. He’s always on my mind especially when July rolls around each year and I think of how old he is. Or would be.
This year is no exception. So as a tribute to him, I’m posting his obituary which I lovingly composed when our family was making our preparations.
Dad was a good man. A very good man.
BASILE, JOSEPH NINO, age 84 of Orlando, passed on to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday evening, Sept 9, 2007 after a 2 1/2 year battle with lung and brain cancer.
Mr. Basile was born in the Bronx, New York on July 12, 1923 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force for 22 years. He saw duty with the first wave of Allied occupation troops in Japan, something which he often described as a life-changing experience. His state-side duty stations included Korean and Viet Nam era service at Travis A.F.B. California, Biggs A.F.B. El Paso, Patrick A.F.B. Florida, Otis A.F.B. Cape Cod, and finally McCoy A.F.B. Orlando where he served from 1961 until retirement in 1968 as a MSGT.
While stationed in Denver in 1949, Joe met the love of his life, the former Lois Marie Workman; she served him lunch at the Walgreens and stole his heart. They were married in December of ’49 and shared life and love for more than 57 years.
Following his active duty days, Mr. Basile carried the mail for 19 years, most of that at Dixie Village in South Orlando. His column “Dixie Village Blues” ran regularly in the NALC newsletter; its humor, satire and oblique references to current events at the Branch made it a hit with his fellow letter carriers. Joe was known in the community as an avid bowler, a coin collector and an excellent cook.
Most of all, he was a very active and devoted member of Blessed Trinity CC in Orlando serving as an usher for close to 40 years. He was active in the Karios Movement as well and worked tirelessly in Prison Ministry at Orange County, Lake County and Volusia County jails for many years.
Mr. Basile was preceded in death by his parents, Santo and Maria Basile, brother Frank Basile, sisters Gaetana and Marion as well as his son Michael Lee Basile. He is survived by his loving wife Lois, sister Corrine Fetonti of New Rochelle, NY, sons Benjamin Lawrence and John Joseph of Orlando, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Joe was loved by many, especially his extended family and his fellow parishioners. His gentle spirit, great sense of humor and tireless service to his family and church will long be remembered.
There will be a viewing at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 4545 East Anderson Road, Orlando, from 6:30-8:30PM, Thursday, Sept. 13th. Mass of Christian Burial at Blessed Trinity at 10:30AM on Friday, Sept. 14th with Fr. Roland Nadeau officiating. Burial will follow at All Faiths Cemetery in Casselberry.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in his name to the MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando (407-648-3800) or to the Hospice of the Comforter (407-682-0808).
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Sept. 13, 2007