William R. Basch
William R. Basch, 92, of Hartford, beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, died on June 3, 2005. Born in Hartford on August 26, 1912 to the late Max and Fannie (Reinholtz) Basch, he was married to the late Diane “Doni” (Cohen) Basch. He was a graduate of Weaver High School, Trinity College, and Harvard Law School. He served in the US Army during World War II. Both before and immediately after military service, he worked for State of Connecticut Labor Department, and then for the Veterans Administration. He spent the bulk of his career in the automobile business, as Vice President and Comptroller of Russell Pontiac and then Pontiac Center in West Hartford, retiring in 1990. He is survived by three sons, Paul Basch of Hartford; David Basch of Washington, DC; and Peter Basch and his wife Leslie Harris of Washington, DC; two grandchildren, Emma and Max Basch of Washington, DC; one brother, Albert Basch and his wife Elaine of West Hartford; three sister-in-laws, Fredell Basch of West Hartford, Miriam Cohen of West Hartford, and Barbara Rosenthal and her husband Neale of Sarasota, Florida; as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, and friends. He was predeceased by two brothers: Samuel Basch and Sidney Basch. William, known to his contemporaries as “Bill,” his nieces and nephews as “Uncle Bill,” his grandchildren as “Poppy,” and to his children as “Willy,” was a kind and gentle man with a keen intellect, an infallible memory, and a mastery of puns. He loved to travel and attend the Hartford Stage and Symphony. In his last few years, when he became homebound, he remained an avid reader, classical music lover, and enthusiastic fan of UConn basketball. He was strongly political, believing that voting was a mainstay of democracy; famously demanding an absentee ballot when hospitalized and gravely ill, shortly before the last presidential election. Shortly before he died, he recounted fond memories of Hartford in the early 20th century, when horse and buggies were common. With his passing, Hartford has lost part of its historical memory, and a loved and respected member of the community. The family wishes to express its gratitude to his at-home caregivers Minnie Chatfield, Lesline Glenn, and especially Winnie DeLeon, who provided loving care and support, and made his final months possible for him to spend in the dignity of his own home. Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 6, 2005 at 1:00 PM in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford with Rabbi Howard Herman officiating. Interment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. Shiva will be observed on Monday immediately following the funeral, at his home on 31 Woodland Street, Apartment 8J, in Hartford, and Tuesday from 3-8pm. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the South Park Inn, 75 Main St., Hartford 06106, or to the charity of one’s choice. For further information, directions or to share memories of Mr. Basch with his family, please visit online at

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