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Retired teacher Louise L. Bass dead at 73

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Retired tecaher Louise L. Bass dead at 73

YPSILANTI -- A memorial service is set for Saturday for Louise L. Bass, a retired school teacher and “towering figure” in the local community.

Bass, 73, died Tuesday following a lengthy illness. Among the survivors are her husband, Dr. Thomas Bass, the first black man to set up a medical practice in Ypsilanti, and their son Michael Bass, a football standout at Ypsilanti High School and the University of Michigan who went on to play as a defensive back for the Washington Redskins. She also is survived by two daughters.

An Arkansas native, Louise Bass was a graduate of Hampton Institute in Hampton. Va., who began her teaching career in Newport News, Va. She moved to Michigan 1942 and her career in the Ypsilanti School district spanned 29 years. She retired as a mathematics teacher from East Middle School in 1985.

Ray Mullins, president of the Ypsilanti/Willow Run chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called Bass a towering figure locally who was involved in many community activities.

She served on the executive boards of the Washtenaw United Way and the local NAACP, and was past president of both the Ypsi Voguettes and the Palm Leaf Club. She also was past president of the Ypsilanti Association of Women’s Clubs, and was long active as a Girl Scout leader and youth volunteer worker.

She was a member and former trustee of Brown Chapel AME Church.

The memorial service begins at 11 a.m. Saturday at Brown Chapel at 401 S. Adams St. Donations may be made to the Louise Bass Scholarship Fund in care of the church.