Rev. Dr. Eric W. Bascom Jr.
The Rev. Dr. Eric W. Bascom, Jr., 88, of Reeds Landing, Springfield, passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, October 16, 2016, at Baystate Medical Center, after a long illness. Eric was surrounded by loving family members throughout his difficult journey. Born in Bellows Falls, Vermont, to Revs. Eric and Elida (Frost) Bascom of Acworth, New Hampshire, he graduated from Vilas High School, University of Maine, Bangor Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Theological Seminary where he earned his Doctorate of Ministry degree in 1978. Eric was a minister with the United Church of Christ for over sixty years, and served churches throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts with his longest tenure at Faith United Church, Springfield. After “retiring” in 1993, he and his wife, Beth, returned to Springfield, and Eric continued to serve as interim pastor in several churches in Western Mass., as well as filling pulpits around the greater Springfield area. He enthusiastically led vespers at Reeds Landing and preached his final sermon in August, at First Church in E. Longmeadow. An accomplished author, Eric wrote several books about his faith and family which included the historical Hundred Years of Faith and Faith Hath Foundations. Eric loved singing in the Wilbraham Choral Society Men’s Glee Club and leading his creative writing group at Reeds. As a writer with opinions and stories to tell, he was often a free-lance contributor to the Springfield Republican newspaper. Eric was active in improving the lives of his neighbors through community housing with former Mayor Charles Ryan and was on several committees at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing. He proudly sat on the original ecumenical board which helped to bring palliative care to the area, of which, ironically, he was wonderfully blessed with tender loving care during his final days at Baystate. Eric was a great writer, preacher, teacher and story-teller, and as he wrote in the preface to one of his books: “When I was little I told stores, some were innocent, some were lies and some were in between.” Eric’s life story is very real and his contributions to his family, to his community and to his faith have been steadfast. May his stories continue to live in our hearts, be spoken from our lips, and etched on paper for the world to enjoy. Eric was predeceased by his parents, Eric and Elida Bascom, brothers Kenneth, Rodney and Paul Bascom, his children’s mother, Frances Gordon Bascom, and in 2012, his beloved wife, Beth Peterson Bascom. He is survived by his sister Shirley Powers, sisters-in-law Frannie Bascom and Joyce Bascom, daughter Ann (Merritt) Aurich and sons Eric, III (Judy), Timothy (Rachelle King), Philip (Cyndy) and Jonathan (Patsy) Bascom, as well as step-children Anne (Robert) Lally, John (Karen), Robert (Valerie), and Jeffery (Karen) Peterson, and a combined total of twenty-one grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. The Committal of Eric’s body will be held at the Springfield Cemetery on Saturday, October 22, at 10 AM. The Service of Thanksgiving for Eric’s Life will be held at Faith United Church, 52 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, at 1 PM. Memorial contributions may be sent to Baystate Medical Center Philanthropic Department, 759 Chestnut Street, Springfield MA 01199. Please earmark contributions to Palliative Care and Bereavement Trays on correspondence.
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