John (Jack) Anthony Basic passed away peacefully on March 15, in the company of dear friends.
Jack, who was 99 years old, lived a rich and full life. He was a long time Portlander who enjoyed theater, books, classical music, and, most of all, people. He was an active member of Holy Redeemer Parish in North Portland. He liked to say he lived 95 years in the same house. He walked to Mass, and rode TriMet everywhere. His deep faith sustained him throughout his life.
Jack was born in Portland on July 26, 1922. He grew up in a Croatian family and community, the son of Matija and John Basich. He changed his name to Basic as an adult. Like many children of immigrants, Jack didn’t speak English until he was school age. His one brother, Marco, died in infancy. Jack grew up with many cousins, aunts, and uncles. He remained active in the Croatian community, sometimes attending Croatian Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, chatting and joking with friends there after Mass.
Jack served in the Army during World War II and attended the University of Portland. He lived in New York for a few years, attending acting school and earning a Masters Degree in speech therapy from Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1958. He later traveled to Croatia, where he visited relatives, in the 1970s. Jack worked as a speech therapist.
Jack was known for his many lasting friendships. He made friends easily and enjoyed a good conversation, always peppered with humor. Later in life Jack became well known in his neighborhood and the beloved “Mayor” at his local New Seasons store, which he visited nearly daily. If you were a friend of Jack’s, then he knew you by name and knew all about you.
Jack, who never married, is survived by cousins and his many dear friends.
A Rosary on March 22 at 7 pm and funeral Mass on March 23 at 10 am will be celebrated at Holy Redeemer Church followed by internment at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Remembrances: Holy Redeemer Catholic Church or Catholic School, Portland; or Sacred Heart Maronite Monastery in Castle Rock, WA.
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