Frances Eloise Leonard Bass, also known as Mama and Mema, passed away on April 12th, 2017.
She was born October 8, 1926 to Charlie and Lillie Leonard of Franklin County. She is reunited with her
husband, Larry Dozier Bass, who left us in 1985. She is also preceded in death by her daughter, Sydney Carol Bass Brooks, and brothers, Bob and Freddie Leonard.
Eloise grew up on a farm on Highway 56 in Franklin County. She graduated from Edward Best High School and attended Louisburg College. She left there for Nashville, NC, to work with the Davenport Law Firm as a legal assistant. In 1947 she married Larry D. Bass of Momeyer, NC. She eventually left her professional job and started a family with Larry and worked alongside him and his family at Bass Brothers helping make that a successful business. She also assisted with the family farm and all the requirements of country living.
Eloise had a great business and parliamentary mind and used her many talents to take on volunteer opportunities in her church and community. Being a member of Momeyer Baptist Church was something she truly cherished. She filled positions there such as Church Clerk, Sunday School Teacher, Bible School volunteer and Director of Women's Missionary Union (WMU). She served on various committees but seemed most proud being a part of the Building Committee which oversaw the construction of a new church building in 1978. She loved attending Senior Citizen's luncheons, meetings and traveling with this fun group of friends and spent a lot of time visiting shut-ins and delivering sermon tapes. She supported the Baptist Men's Disaster Relief by heeding the call to help feed victims of hurricanes and disasters in North Carolina and abroad. Eloise was enthusiastic about missions and on multiple occasions traveled with the church mission team to help other communities through service projects. She served as the Associational Director of WMU for the North Roanoke Baptist Association for many years and spoke of how this experience had helped her grow in her faith. In her community Eloise supported the Momeyer Ruritan Club by assisting with their bi-annual BBQ Chicken Supper fundraisers. Additionally, she was always willing to help raise money for charities and causes she was passionate about. In the 1960s and 1970s she was active with the Nash County Democratic Women and TeenDem Organizations. Most recently she proudly served on the Momeyer Town Council from the time Momeyer was Incorporated in 1991 until 2013 when she retired and was honored for her dedication and service to the town.
Eloise loved to have a good time. In her twenties, she became a member of "The 13 Club" in Nashville and always looked forward to playing Bridge with these great friends. She last attended the club in the spring of 2016 and truly missed "the girls." After retirement, she enjoyed her Red Hat group and their many outings. Eloise was an accomplished cook, gardener and canner. Her homemade cucumber pickles were delicious and made her chicken salad, potato salad and deviled eggs the best around town. So, it is no surprise that cooking for the people she loved the most brought her the greatest joy. She delighted in looking on as family gathered at her home in Momeyer for Sunday lunch and holiday celebrations. Yearly summer trips to Holden Beach, NC, were greatly anticipated with all of Mama's goodies at hand, especially her pimento cheese and chocolate chip cookies. Her favorite thing to do at the beach was sit on the porch, reading and watching her family enjoy the sand and surf and grow with each passing year.
She leaves behind to cherish in memory her son Leon Bass of Momeyer; daughter Brenda Bass Pace and husband, Ronnie of Momeyer; daughter Ellen Bass Stephenson and husband, Tom of Wake Forest. Seven Grandchildren: Kelly Brown Butler and husband, Brent; Patrick Pace and wife, Erin; Ashley Pace and wife, Kim; Daniel Pace, Mary Brooks, Will Stephenson and Hunter Stephenson. Eight Great-Grandchildren: Sydney, Jennings, Ezri, Tully, Theo, Morgan, Aubrey, Henry and Baby Pace due in May. Her sister and brother-in-law, Lucy Leonard Colbert and husband, Pete of Franklinton; her sisters and brothers-in-law, Estelle Bass Matthews and husband, James William of Momeyer and Paul G. Bass and wife, Sue of Momeyer; Carolyn, Justin and Lindsey Bass and a host of nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Mariah Hooper and Wilhemina Robinson for helping provide such wonderful care to Eloise during her illness. It takes special people to show such compassion and love through tough times. We also thank Nash Hospice: Lynn Bradshaw, RN; Dr. Boyette and the entire staff who helped make the end of our Mama's life as comfortable as possible.
We also extend our gratefulness to Dr. John Sinden of WakeMed Heart and Vascular and Dr. Kenneth Carnes of Raleigh Neurology. Many friends and family provided support to Mama and our family over the course of her illness. Your love and concern helped sustain us all and we truly appreciate it.
Please join us for a Memorial Service celebrating this wonderful woman on April 15th, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Momeyer Baptist Church with Rev. Phil Qualls and Rev. Jeanne Hollifield Baucom presiding. There will be a reception immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Momeyer Baptist Church, 4967 Momeyer Way, Nashville, NC, 27856.