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NORMAL — Mary Elizabeth Bassett, 86, Normal, died at 6:42 p.m. Thursday (May 26, 2011) at her residence.

A memorial Mass will be at noon Monday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, with Monsignor Doug Hennessy officiating. A celebration of Mary’s life will follow at Alexander’s Steakhouse, 1503 E. College Ave., Normal. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Pontiac Elks Scholarship Fund, Advocate Hospice or Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Kibler-Smith Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

Mary was born March 10, 1925, daughter of John and Florence Esposito D’Orio in Warrenville. She married Denman J. “Denny” Bassett on July 3, 1947. He died Oct. 15, 1988.

Surviving are her eight children, Denman (Magdalena) Bassett II, Sequim, Wash.; Timothy Bassett, Tremont; Cynthia (James) Hall, South Burlington, Vt.; Thomas (Carol) Bassett, Aurora; Cheryl (Ron) Gruber, Normal; Debra (Denny) Rich, Saunemin; Deidra (Don) Scheurich and Carole (David) Pollard, both of Bloomington; 20 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Denny Bassett; her parents; and sister, Rita D’Orio Johnson.

Mary graduated from Warrenville Grade School and Wheaton High School. Mary attended secretarial school in Champaign. Mary was a member of the National League of Postmasters of the United States, a past member of St. Mary’s of Loretto Altar and Rosary Society and a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

She began working outside the home at the Saunemin Post Office in 1972 as a clerk, and became the postmaster in 1985 until her retirement in 1989. She moved to Clearwater, Fla., in 1990, where she lived until 2006. At that time, she moved into the home of Ron and Cheryl Gruber, where she resided until her death.

Mary’s biggest and most rewarding job was that of raising eight children. Mary made it all seem easy and seamless with her many skills of cleaning, sewing, nursing, teaching, gardening, landscaping, lawn mowing, designing, guiding, comptrolling, sheriffing, bottle washing, cheerleading, cooking, taxiing and, most importantly, loving.

As her husband taught her, and they handed down to us, “Don’t worry, be happy!”

Condolences may be sent to the family at

the life of: Mary Bassett
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