Ann Basse, a driving force in east Dearborn, dies

Photo courtesy of Turwoski Funeral Home
Ann Basse

DEARBORN — Longtime community activist Ann Basse, wife of the late Arthur Basse, died Feb. 4.

Mrs. Basse came to Dearborn in 1952 and was an active member in the city affairs ever since. She began her service to the community with the Aviation Property Owners Association and Mother’s Club at McDonald Elementary School.

She held offices of treasurer, membership chair, board of directors, president, and vice-president through the years with these organizations and the succeeding PTAs at McDonald, Lowry, and Fordson schools.

Mrs. Basse was largely responsible, along with her husband, Arthur, for the additional playground space added on to the McDonald School property in 1966. They saw an “opportunity of a lifetime” when one of the homes on that property came up for sale.

The Basses introduced the idea to the community, members of APO, parents, teachers and staff of McDonald School, the school board, the mayor’s office, and Dearborn City Council. The success of this idea was not a fait accomplit; there were many, many meetings and negotiations involved in bringing this idea to fruition.

She served as representative of APO at the Federation of Civic Associations in Dearborn for more than 45 years. She loved the ability to make a difference citywide.

Mrs. Basse served on many committees at the request of the mayor’s office including the Advisory Committee to the Dearborn Board of Education, the Fordson Renovation committee, the five-year city recreation plan task force, the mayor’s budget task force, the library committee, and the Warren Avenue Police Committee.

In the early 1980s, when budget cuts threatened to close the Esper Branch Library, Mrs. Basse collected data with the staff to show it was the busiest and most used library in the city, by both patrons and books checked out, and her efforts, along with other concerned citizens and staff members, kept the library open in east Dearborn.

When Mayor Michael Guido initiated a new park in east Dearborn and decided to name it after her late husband, she helped in the planning of Arthur Basse Park and contributed the snake and turtle playground equipment.

Mrs. Basse was recognized at both the city and state level for her longtime community service. She received countless citations and awards for her longtime community service, including an APO leadership award, Award of Excellence from Dearborn Public Schools, Dearborn Board of Education Citizen of the Year, and an APO Lifetime Achievement Award.

Through all these years serving the community she loved, she acquired many, many friends among Dearborn’s City Hall movers and shakers. Among her many friends, she was counted on by the likes of Mayors John O’Reilly Sr., John O’Reilly Jr. and Guido, and many other city representatives through the years.

In recent years, she continued to serve at McDonald School, helping the PTA plan its fundraisers, reading to the children, and passing out books as part of the Reading is Fundamental program. She also was honored twice as grand marshal of McDonald School’s Cleanup Parade.