Wayne Howard Bass, 99, of Ponca City passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 28, 2019 at Via Christi Nursing Home. He was born on May 18, 1920 in Gainseville, Texas to Lovia Emmaline Jennings and Volley C. (“Sam”) Bass and moved to Ponca City in 1935. Wayne married his beloved, Nona Francis Chandler of Ponca City, in 1940. He served in the Navy in WWII. While working on a repair ship in the Pacific Ocean in 1944 he earned a Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps medal. With badly burned hands, he bravely extinguished a fire caused by a kamikaze attack, cooling an ammunition locker and saving his ship and shipmates. As a young man Wayne worked as a watchmaker, but the bulk of his career was spent working for Continental Carbon Company in Ponca City, Phenix City, Alabama, and in Peru.
Wayne and Nona enjoyed keeping and riding horses and always had a large vegetable garden that they tended with loving care before she was stricken by Alzheimer’s in the 1990’s. Over the last several years Wayne continued gardening and very much enjoyed the company of his dog, Samie, a Brittany Spaniel. Wayne was interested in photography and computer technology, having one of the first Macintosh computers and staying up to date on the latest software and equipment. Family history and genealogy was very important to him and he worked alongside his son, Stephen, and nephew, CL Bass, to document his family back to the original Jamestown settlers. Wayne was an avid student of the bible. He took great comfort from his faith in God and was deeply dedicated to his church, attending services at Hartford Avenue and Newkirk Church of Christ.
Wayne is survived by his grandchildren; John Bass of Lake Worth, FL and Shannon Miller of Red Hook, NY; and a daughter-in-law, Valerie Bass of Lake Worth, FL. He has 2 great-grandchildren; Haley and Hudson Miller. He has several nieces and nephews, who he treasured, in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona. Wayne’s family is forever grateful to all of his local friends and neighbors who loved and comforted him in the difficult year since his son’s death due to cancer.
Wayne was predeceased by his son, Stephen Chandler Bass; his wife, Nona Francis Chandler; a brother, John Thomas Bass; and a sister, Ruth Fambrough.
Wayne willed his body to the University of Oklahoma Medical School for the benefit of biological science and clinical training. His ashes will be buried at the Resthaven Memorial Park, alongside his wife. A memorial gathering will be planned at the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ in the early fall.