Austin M. (Sam) Bass, age 86, of Lititz, passed away at home on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 after a brief battle with cancer. Born on December 11, 1934 in Vienna, VA, Sam was the son of the late Edward L. and Lavelle A. Bass.
He proudly served in the United States Navy on the Franklin D. Roosevelt aircraft carrier from 1952-1956. Following his service, he went to work for Eastern Airlines, where he met the girl of his dreams, Margaret (Maggie) Hanna. On their first date, he showed up at her door with a 6-pack and a smile, and they danced the night away to Johnny Mathis. His dancing skills – and likely his charm – won her heart. And Sam was smitten with Maggie – so much so that he left his family and friends in Virginia to move to Lititz, PA to make a life together.
Sam and Maggie were married for 61 years and raised three children: Steve, Dana, and Brad. Family was everything to Sam. He worked hard to provide for his family and spent time with his children coaching their youth baseball and football teams, attending band and musical events, and cheering them on from the sidelines in whatever they were involved in.
Sam’s love of sports as a child continued throughout his adult life. He played in softball leagues and became an avid golfer, playing in the great company of his family and friends. He was always willing to lend his advice on the proper golf swing!
Carrying on the Bass family trait of being an engaging storyteller, Sam shared stories of his successes, failures, adventures, and travels, often using stories of his experiences to teach life lessons to others.
Sam had a love of music that ran through his entire family. He sang tenor in the church choir for many years and occasionally performed with his granddaughters. He regarded singing the Lord’s Prayer at his daughter’s wedding one of the greatest honors of his life.
Sam had a bright smile, a warm heart, and a kind spirit. He had a special knack for making others feel welcome and took a genuine interest in everyone he met. He demonstrated strength in every part of his life – in his work, his convictions, his faith, his love for his family, and even in his handshake. And if you were fortunate enough to get a hug from him, you felt it for days.
Sam will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Fortunately, he left behind a lifetime of love and memories for all to share and carry on.
He is survived by his wife Maggie and 3 children: Steve, husband of Judy (Cummings); Dana, wife of Tom Baxter; and Brad, husband of Cheryl (Irwin); 2 granddaughters, Hanna Baxter and Samantha Anthony, wife of Dave; and 2 great granddaughters, Eliza and Marcy. Sam is preceded in death by siblings Eddie Bass, Olivia Witmer, David Bass and Dottie Lipscomb.
A memorial service will be held on January 8, 2022 at 11:00 am at the Lititz Church of the Brethren, 300 W. Orange Street, Lititz. Family and friends will be received from 10 - 11 am. A luncheon will be provided immediately following the service.