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Joseph Vincent Basile

February 2, 1926 November 21, 2018
Joseph Vincent Basile
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Obituary for Joseph Vincent Basile

Joseph Vincent Basile, 92, passed away peacefully with family by his side on November 21, 2018, in Hillsboro, Oregon. Joe will be remembered for his commitment to serve others, humility, dry wit, sharp mind, quiet presence, impeccable integrity, and his devotion and love for family, friends and oatmeal. Joe had well-worn clichés for almost every encounter he had with friends and strangers alike and had a habit of coronating strangers with his paper napkin crowns.

Joe was born February 2, 1926, in Staten Island, New York, to Charles and Jennie (Bailardo) Basile. Joe was raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, the fourth of seven children of Italian immigrant parents. Joe ventured West in his early 20’s and earned his Bachelor’s (’52) and Master’s (’54) degrees in Forestry and Wildlife from the University of Idaho. In 1956, after two years as a wildlife biologist for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, Joe began his 26-year career as a range scientist with the USDA Forest Service in Boise and later in Bozeman, Montana. Upon retiring from the Forest Service in 1982, Joe worked as an Adjunct Instructor in Speech Communications for MSU, while also moonlighting for Dahl Funeral Home.

While in Boise, Joe met Hilda Ottenbreit, a grade school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada. They were married June 18, 1960, in Boise, where their children Mary Anne and Ronald would be born. Joe and Hilda moved their young ones to Bozeman in 1963, where son Michael joined the family. Joe and Hilda celebrated 52 anniversaries before Hilda’s passing in 2013. In 2015, Joe moved close to his daughter and son in Oregon, where his wit, wisdom and passion for jigsaw puzzles found a new circle of friends at his senior living community in Hillsboro.

Joe was a prolific volunteer during his 52 years in Bozeman, working hundreds of hours at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, organizing blood drives for the United Blood Services and American Red Cross, serving on the Bozeman Library Board and the Bozeman Senior Center’s Woodworkers Club, assisting with aquatics at Eagle Mount, spearheading an anti-shoplifting campaign for local Bozeman businesses, and devoting his time and talents to the Knights of Columbus organization, where he served in many leadership capacities including two years as State Deputy and several years on the Knights’ national Supreme Council. Joe was an active KC for 54 years. Joe was also very active in his Resurrection Parish community, where he helped initiate and grow a weekly free lunch program for MSU students that continues today. At the Sweet Pea Festival every August, Joe was a fixture at the Bozeman Chord Rustlers’ booth, hawking those wonderful Tater Pigs. Joe was an active barbershop singer with the Chord Rustlers for many years. In his humility, Joe wouldn’t tell you he received numerous volunteer awards including the President’s Volunteer Service Award from Washington DC.

Joe was preceded in death by his wife Hilda (2013); his parents; brothers Thomas, Anthony and S. Michael; sisters Rosemarie (Hierspiel) and Cecilia; brothers-in-law Roy Hierspiel, Eddie Ottenbreit, Robert Striker and Norman Dean; sisters-in-law Anne Benoit, Irene DePalma, Rosetta Basile, Ruth Goebel and Mildred Ottenbreit; and grandson and former roommate Conner J. Firstman (2014).

He is survived by his daughter Mary Anne (Curtis) Firstman of Beaverton, Oregon and their children Seth, Paige and Erin; son Ronald (Joyce Love) Basile of Portland, Oregon and their children Emily, Chloe and Ian; and son Michael (Shauna Delaney) Basile of Missoula, Montana and their children Alex (Dana Anderson), Matthew and Madison; brother Frank of Florida; brothers-in-law Del (Lorette) Ottenbreit and Wilfred Goebel, sisters-in-law Aileen Striker, Leona Dean and Dolores (George) Fischer; and many nieces and nephews, including Michael Basile of Bozeman.

A funeral Mass will be held in the spring or early summer at Resurrection Catholic Parish in Bozeman, MT followed by interment of the urn next to Hilda at Sunset Hills Cemetery. A notification of date will be posted by Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service.

One of Joe’s passions was the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. His memory would be honored by donations made to them. “Get involved. We are asked to ‘Love your neighbor’. Everybody is a neighbor. Love them. Help them. Whenever you can, do something.” - JVB


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