West Chicago park commissioner remembered as 'amazing human being'

  • Reginald "Reggie" Bass, a longtime volunteer for the West Chicago Park District, died Oct. 1. He was 61.

    Reginald "Reggie" Bass, a longtime volunteer for the West Chicago Park District, died Oct. 1. He was 61. Courtesy of West Chicago Park District

 
 
Updated 10/6/2020 5:19 PM

Family and friends are mourning the death of Reginald "Reggie" Bass, a longtime West Chicago resident who actively served the community as an elected official, volunteer and fundraiser.

Bass, 61, died Oct. 1 due to complications in surgery to remove a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, in his lungs.

 

"Reggie has always been one of the biggest advocates for the city of West Chicago. He was a great partner and teammate when it came to caring about this community," West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda said in a statement. "He will always be remembered as an amazing husband, an amazing family man and an amazing human being. I loved him as a great man and a great friend. He will be truly missed."

Bass was elected to the West Chicago Park District board in 2019 after he had previously filled a vacancy on the panel for nine months. Bass also was president of the West Chicago Friends of the Parks Foundation.

In addition to his job as a senior vice president with Primerica, Bass was active with the Lions Club and served on the board of directors for the nonprofit People Made Visible. Bass also was active with the West Chicago chapter of the national health initiative Move with the Mayor.

"I have always admired Reggie for the way he led his life, the way he loved his family and way he loved his community." West Chicago Park District Executive Director Gary Major said in a statement.

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Lily Medina, the park district's marketing and communications manager, said Bass was a regular at the community center interacting with participants, cooking for senior social gatherings or serving as a master of ceremonies for fundraising events.

Medina said Bass lived his life in response to a series of questions, including "How is my town better because I'm a part of it?" and "What have I done with the life I've been given?"

Bass is survived by his wife, Patricia, and seven children: Sarah, Andrew, Amanda, Rachel, Jessi, Sophia and Catherine.

According to Sarah Bass, there will be a private family interment on Friday through Hultgren Funeral Home in Wheaton, though there are hopes in the future to have a public memorial with a tree planting once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

"I couldn't begin to enumerate the amount of people he impacted and how selfless and generous he was," Sarah Bass said. "For me, it's almost like people who knew him knew him, and people who didn't, it was unfortunate that they didn't."

In lieu of flowers, the Bass family requests donations to be made to Everett Mission Charitable Trust, a Christian ministry to orphans in India run by Bass family friends Alex Sam and Sunita Marandi.

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