The passing of Mike and Vicki Bass was a tragic loss for the community. Their contributions left a void, but memories will continue forever.
Some of them were shared by members of the Sampson County Schools Board of Education. Vicki died on Oct. 26 in a three-car wreck. About a week later, Mike died also, succumbing to his injuries from the same wreck. They both were 67. Their daughter, Kristy, also sustained severe injures.
Mike and Vicki Bass graduated from Union High School in 1968 and became high school sweethearts. Later in life, they served the Sampson County School district in many ways. Mike was a charter member of the Union District Athletic Booster Club and served on the district’s Advisory Board.
He also served with the Sampson Board of Education, including a stint as the chairman. Board member Mary Brown had the opportunity to serve with Mike. Brown said he was a gracious, wonderful person with a good heart. She was also encouraged to serve as chairperson after she received the top votes. It was one of several memories shared during the recent meeting.
Board Chairman Timothy Register said Mike was always a champion for children. Register grew up with Bass and considered him a dear friend.
“I respected him not only as an individual, but certainly as a board member,” Register said. “Mike and Vicki, both, were Spartans to the bone.”
They were raised in Sampson’s Union district, but Register noted that they cared about youth throughout the county. Board members also shared their condolences for the family members they left behind.
Board Member Telfair Simpson spoke about coaching with their son Brad Bass, a coach for the Union Spartans. Through Brad, Simpson met his parents. Simpson said they were tremendous people, outstanding citizens and supporters of athletics and the school system. He reminisced back to the 1990s during a football playoff game.
“Vicki Bass held my son that night,” Simpson said about his 6-week-old child. “It was freezing cold. She bundled that baby up.”
Vicki was an educator at Union and was known for her pleasant personality. She later retired to spend more time with her grandson, Cole. Mike also enjoyed spending time with his grandson. The lifelong farmer also served for the Sampson County Soil and Conservation and was a member of the National Guard Reserve.
Simpson added that there will always be fond memories of Mike and Vicki Bass. He asked everyone to keep the family in their prayers.