We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Varnum Funeral Home, Inc.
West Brookfield - Maryann Janice Bassett passed away on October 1, 2021, at the age of 65, in her home in West Brookfield, MA. She fought a short but difficult battle against cancer, but despite the pain and complications from the illness this past year, Maryann fought bravely until the end.
Maryann is survived by her husband Merlon Bassett and children, Christopher and Rachael Bassett, son in law Joshua Rivers, daughter in law Stephanie Clymer; as well as her sisters, Patricia (Harry) Gafney, Deborah (John) Suchocki, Susan (William) Yeadon, and Laurie Sattler; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Maryann lived a vibrant life, full of travel, good food, nature, and creativity. A curious soul, she never stopped exploring, whether it was a new travel destination, a fresh recipe to try, or a challenging craft project to tackle. Incredibly thrifty, Maryann could never pass up a good bargain, but always knew when to treat herself. She was unabashedly herself and lived her life as she wanted it. Maryann lived her life with the spirit of “Joie de vivre” a true enjoyment of life and all that it has to offer. She thrived in constant and consistent adventurous pursuits with her family and friends, becoming the consummate world traveler.
She was born to Paul and Janet Sattler on March 29, 1956 in Holyoke, MA. After graduating from high school, Maryann attended both Holyoke Community College and UMASS Amherst to attain her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition. It was at school at HCC that she met her husband of 42 years, Merlon.
From a very young age, Maryann’s horizons were expanded beyond the city limits of Holyoke. She always referenced a childhood cross country trip with her parents and sisters as her first momentous adventure to see the wonders this country has to offer. Throughout the years Maryann always fed her desire for travel and exploration at home and abroad. Merl and Maryann took the family on countless hiking trips throughout New England, countless weeks camping on Cape Cod, visits to National Parks, and their very own cross-country trip worthy of the National Lampoon's Vacation. Without fail, each year Merl and Maryann would travel to new destinations enjoying their “empty nest” years. Their most recent trips include Rome and the Amalfi Coast of Italy, Alaska, Nova Scotia, and their fourth trip to the US Virgin Islands.
Nourishment was one of Maryann’s passions, at home and at work. The word nourishment is much more appropriate than just food or nutrition, because to Maryann, food was more than just fuel for the body, it was a connection with nature, with family, and with her heritage. Her love of gardening and using fresh and wholesome ingredients to feed her family seamlessly melded with her passion for dietetics in her clinical practice. She was proud of her lifelong profession as a Registered Dietitian and worked tirelessly to help countless patients not just to live better lives, but to thrive in embracing healthful living habits. She found great joy in mentoring others in the profession and sharing her expansive knowledge and experience.
Maryann was a master artisan who crafted countless creations ranging from homemade dried spices and medicinal cordials to sewing full length dresses and knitting Afghans. Each gift or item she made was carefully prepared and thought out. Maryann’s thoughtfulness and attention to detail showed in every item and gift she created. Each stood on their own and were created solely with the recipient in mind; giving gifts was her way to let others know that they were loved and in her thoughts. To her family and friends, she was sensitive and sentimental. She felt deeply and with heartfelt emotion.
With her four sisters, Maryann shared not only a resemblance, but also a very special bond. She loved them deeply and shared countless trips or “Ya-Ya’s” as they called them to many fun-loving destinations such as Las Vegas, Orlando, NYC, and Old Quebec, Canada. Attending important events in the lives of her family and friends and keeping family traditions such as Polish Wigilia were paramount in Maryann's life. Maryann was always there for her friends and family in time of need to lend an ear or a helping hand. She made time, put in the time, and enriched the lives of all around her.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, October 8, 2021 at 11:00am in the Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., in West Brookfield. There are no Calling Hours. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Sarcoma Foundation of America on her behalf at P.O. Box 98160, Washington, DC, 20090-8160 or www.curesarcoma.org/maryann-bassett/ Varnum Funeral Home, Inc., 43 East Main St., in West Brookfield is assisting her family with arrangements.
Sarcoma Foundation of America
P.O. Box 98160, Washington DC 20090-8160