PALMYRA — Thomas W. Bassett, 97, of Palmyra, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at East Troy Manor.

Tom was born on July 6, 1922, in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Thomas and Anne (Furlong) Bassett.

On Oct. 2, 1948, Tom married his loving wife, Rita Marie Peiffer, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Aurora, Ill. The two would go on to enjoy 60 years of marriage together until her death in 2008.

Tom faithfully served his country in the United States Air Force as a pilot and obtained the rank of Major before his retirement.

After his service, Tom worked as a sales representative for All Steel Corporation in Aurora.

First and foremost in Tom’s life was his faith. He was a devoted Catholic and active parishioner of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Aurora, and later St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmyra.

Tom also loved people and his community. He was a joyful and thoughtful man. His loving family also remembers his love of music. He always had a song in his heart. He very much enjoyed singing in the church choir for many years.

For leisure, Tom liked to fish and row his boat on Lower Spring Lake in Palmyra. Tom will be missed dearly by those he leaves behind.

He is survived by his four nephews, five nieces, other relatives and friends.

He also was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and a sister.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to the caring staff at East Troy Manor as well of some of Tom’s close friends: Patrick and Janine Curtin, Bill and Dolores Van Duzor, Kathy O’Malley, Jack and Priscilla Standley, and Ann Konkel.

A memorial mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmyra. Father Mariadas Bekala will officiate the mass.

Visitation will be held on Thursday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service.

Tom will be laid to rest next to his wife in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery of Aurora at a later date.

Gibson Family Funeral Homes of Eagle & Palmyra is serving the family. To place an online condolence, please visit

To send flowers to the family of Thomas Bassett, please visit Tribute Store.

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