Beverly Diane Bass James, of Holden Beach and formerly of Raeford died in Open Arms Retirement Center in Raeford on May 15, 2023.
Diane was born on October 22, 1946, in Wilmington, NC to the late Luther Francis Bass, Jr. and Theo McDowell Bass.
Diane attended UNC Pembroke and worked as a business office manager until she and her husband Bill retired to Holden Beach in 2006. There they settled easily into the area’s active coastal retirement community while making many new and cherished friends.
Living in retirement provided Diane and Bill with an interesting and pleasing lifestyle. However, it also acutely awakened in them an awareness that not all senior citizens were so fortunate as they were, and much too often, many were treated and viewed as a marginalized segment of the population. Thus, they both became advocates in support of senior issues and joined organizations whose missions address the rights of seniors, especially those which enable them to live their lives with purpose, independence, dignity, good health, and happiness. Therefore, when Diane discovered a need for the senior citizens of Supply to have a facility that would serve them more effectively and efficiently than the one they were presently occupying, she armed herself with photographs showing problems with the existing facility, index cards of supporting data and statistics, and a large entourage of seniors dressed in matching t-shirts. Diane then secured a place on the agenda of the upcoming meeting of the Brunswick County Commissioners. The commissioners’ support was acquired and so was the present-day Brunswick Senior Center at Supply.
Diane was always interested in exploring life with all its joys and possibilities. She had a wide range of interests that included gardening, community volunteering, reading biographies, playing board games, crafting, dining out in her favorite restaurants, and always trying new ones, browsing through thrift shops, antiquing, visiting graves of long-lost ancestors, and always leaving a new flower arrangement behind, and most of all, traveling throughout the United States to vacation destinations with historical landmarks and other significant points of interest. During their retirement, Diane and Bill traveled to thirty-plus states and islands and enjoyed Hawaii and Alaska so much that they took extended trips to both of these states twice.
Now, as we mourn her loss, those of us who loved Diane will remember always how much she enjoyed life, and we will remember always, too, how bravely she faced death with such an amazing display of courage, grace, dignity, and acceptance. Also, Diane’s family is keenly aware that she leaves behind many long-time and newly-found friends who, without being named, know who they are. She, therefore, wanted each one of you to know how much you enriched her life and how very much you were loved and treasured!
Also, before her death, Diane requested that her obituary reflect her deep appreciation for the many acts of kindness, love, and support she received from the following staff at Open Arms Retirement Center: Beverly, Carolyn, Holly, Janice, Joshua, Kim, Lillie, Melissa, Michelle, Samantha, Shonocko, Soso, and Will. Diane herself said, “The staff here are wonderfully warm and nurturing and strive to make my time here as comfortable and pleasant as possible.” Diane’s family echoes her own words of praise and offers its own appreciation to these staff members for every act of kindness they extended to her. May God bless all of you abundantly in His own special way!
Diane is survived by her husband Bill R. James, her brother Tony E. Bass and his wife Rosa of Raeford, two very special nieces, Brantley Elizabeth Bass of Raleigh and Melissa Aiken Partain of Anderson, SC, and two wonderfully loving and supportive neighbors, Doug and Judy Todd of Holden Beach.
With respect to Diane’s wishes, there will be no funeral services and her remains will be inurned in the Bass’ family plot in the Raeford City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring her memory by making a donation to one of the following organizations that she supported:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Wounded Warrior Project
P.O Box 758516
Topeka, KS 66675
Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Bright Focus Foundation
22512 Gateway Center Drive
Clarksburg, MD 20871
Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc.
3620 Express Drive
Shallotte, NC 28470
The L. F Bass, Jr. Scholarship Fund
First Baptist Church of Raeford
333 N. Main Street
Raeford, NC 28376
American Cancer Society
P.O Box 6704
Hagerstown, MD 21741
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