Obituary: Gabriel Bass, 1948-2017 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Gabriel Bass, 1948-2017

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Gabriel Bass
  • Gabriel Bass

Gabriel Sol Bass, 68, of Hinesburg, Vermont, left this world on Friday, May 26 at 12:30pm, surrounded by music, close friends, and family who lovingly talked to him, played and sang songs, and held him until his final breath.

Gabe was a lifelong artist and musician, a loving father and father figure, a spreader of good karma, an irreplaceably loyal friend, an unrelenting student of self-improvement, and notable achiever of personal growth. He exemplified a level of patience and presence with other people that most can only hope to achieve. He was a smart-ass whose smile and laughter was contagious. He lived for the joy of loving his family, as well as being part of a close-knit community of musicians and friends. He practiced a degree of fierce independence and hard-headedness that allowed him to live the life he truly wanted, and did so right up until his last day.

Gabe was born on August 27, 1948 in Brooklyn, NY son of Theodora “Teddy” and George Bass. He grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, NY with his siblings, Bob and Nancy. His natural talent and passion for art for music was apparent early on. He began taking banjo lessons at age 14, the first of many stringed instruments he would eventually master. He graduated high school and performed with his band at local venues until he was drafted 1967. He enlisted in the Air Force and served his country in the Vietnam War until his medical discharge in 1971. Upon his release, Gabe began a much lengthier battle of coming to terms with his service and the moral conflicts it raised for him, as well as ongoing struggles with the “knuckleheads” at the V.A. who at times helped, but also frustrated him. He participated in local veteran’s groups, where he both found support and provided help and guidance to fellow veterans facing difficulties after returning home.

He studied fine art and majored in ceramics at Rutgers University in New Jersey where he received his BFA degree. A resourceful man of many interests and skills, he made a living selling his art and ceramic wares, performing as a musician, renovating houses, and working as an independent land surveyor, to name a few. He resided in New York and New Jersey, remaining close to his family and two young daughters, and hoped to one day move to the country and live on a farm. In 2005, he bought his dream home in Hinesburg, VT where he enjoyed the natural beauty of his environment and the simple pleasures of raising animals and maintaining his land. It was here he finally found his tribe: a community of musician friends he enjoyed piling into the living room of his old farmhouse for jam sessions that sometimes lasted into the wee hours of morning.

Gabe is survived by his daughters Emilie Riddle and Mariel Bass, son-in-law Tim Riddle, grandson Gryphon Riddle, sister Nancy Robinson, niece Jenna Robinson, his nephews Jesse Post, Ben and Bill Bass, in addition to numerous cousins, his two cats Rougie and Little Miss, and many more close friends and music family.

Friends, family, and anyone who knew Gabe are invited to join us for a celebration of his life and legacy, as well as his emancipation and freedom from that old broke-down pick-up truck of a body he is no longer trapped inside of. Festivities will be held behind his house in the field that brought him peace, on his day of birth, August 27th, at 1pm. Please bring an instrument if you play one, and your fondest memories.

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