The Bass boys of Josephine Odom and Joe Bass

Robert Lindsay Contributing columnist

March 10, 2014

Hubert (1905-1988) and Sam, (1907-1968) Bass, the boys of Josephine Odom Bass and Joe Bass, took on a large responsibility when their father died at age 56. Their mother had died three years earlier at age 54. There were four other children, all girls, in the home to be cared for. Hubert being two years older than Sam felt more of the load on his shoulders of caring for the family. Since he and Sam were now the bread winners, the girls, who were the housekeepers, and the family made ends meet by working together during these Depression years.

It was a struggle. Some had to forget or delay further education. Mary, the next youngest, was determined to get more schooling. She left home, much to Hubert’s dissatisfaction , for Charlotte. She worked as a housekeeper and boarded in a man and wife’s home in the affluent Myers Park neighborhood. She attended Kings Business School while working. She continued to live and work at a bank in Charlotte. She married Bryant Stone, a pharmacist at Walker Drugs. They were married at First Methodist Church across from the drug store, on North Tryon Street .My wife and I were members of this church for several years when we returned to Charlotte in the middle 1990s. I visited there recently, looking for Dr. Richard “Rusty” Inman, our former pastor. He has since left the pulpit for counseling.

Sam and Hubert married, raised a wonderful family and prospered well. Hubert had two boys, H.J.( Pete) and Harold. Pete graduated from Halls School in Sampson County. He went to work for Southern Bell Telephone Company in Goldsboro. He married Melva Ree Darden and they raised three children. All are doing well. Harold married and moved to Wilkesboro, where he went to school and became an inhalation/respiration therapist at Wilkes General Hospital. He and wife Hazel Puryear, also from Sampson County, have two children.

Joe and Josephine Bass, ” dirt farmers” from Sampson County, can be proud of their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and G-G-grandchildren . They have done well and continue to succeed . Aunt Lola, Uncle Hubert’s wife, age 103, still praises them all. She loves their visits where she lives in Willow Creek Nursing Home in Goldsboro. In one of my recent visits, I realized how much she is loved and cared for by the staff. After all ,she is the oldest one in the home. The oldest deserve the best, and she gets it.

Sam and wife Pearl had three children — Joe, Julia and Portia. Sam became a very successful farmer near Faison. Joe took over the farming operation when his father died at the early age of 61. Joe continued the successful farm until his death . His son Mark continues the farming business today that his grandfather began in the late 1930’s. Joe’s other two son’s, Steve and Joby, were pharmacists in Clinton. Jody attended an ACC basketball game with me here in Atlanta , while getting an advance degree in pharmacy at Mercer University. A couple of years later he and his lady friend were killed in a tragic auto accident between Fayetteville and Clinton on treacherous N.C. Highway 24. Today Steve has sold his thriving pharmacy business in Clinton, and returned to his love of farming. What goes around comes around. So true with so many of us. Another way of saying it is that you can take the boy out of the country, and off the farm, but you can’t take the country out of the boy, and more than likely he will return to the farm.

The girls, Portia and Julia, are still in the area, with children , but unfortunately I have not kept up with their lives as well as the boys. I will be gathering more information on them to complete the Bass Family history book and tree.