William Robert Bascus

June 30, 1949 - September 12, 2021

William Robert Bascus (June 30, 1949-September 12, 2021) died at home with his family by his side in Seattle, Washington, from complications due to Parkinson’s Disease with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).

Will was born in Brawley, Imperial Valley, California and lived with his parents and three siblings near his grandparents, cousins and other family members. Besides playing outside most of the day, they enjoyed fishing at the Salton Sea and getting haircuts and Chinese food in Mexicali. He made lifelong childhood and high school friends some of whom traveled long distances to see him before he died. During high school he loved being in the Future Farmers of America where he raised a sheep and a steer, and participating in varsity football, baseball, basketball and track. He earned both All-State and All-American honors in basketball his senior year.

He attended the University of Montana, Missoula, on a basketball scholarship, playing for coaches Jud Heathcote and Jim Brandenburg. He made lifelong friends in Montana as well as marrying Isobel Swift in 1973 while finishing his degree.

After returning to Brawley Union High School to teach physical education and be the assistant basketball coach at his alma mater (1974-1977), Will and Isobel moved to Seattle where Will began teaching physical education at Meany Middle School as well as being Al Hairston’s Garfield High School Basketball assistant coach, (1977-1982). Isobel and Will had two sons during this time and bought the house they lived in until he died. He loved being in the yard with his sons.

In 1982, Will joined the independent Bush School as the high school physical education teacher and head boys basketball coach. He loved teaching classes and coaching the talented Blazer teams in the Sea-Tac B division, taking them to the state tournament several times.

Following Bush, Will was an assistant men’s basketball coach at three Division I colleges: Eastern Washington University (1988-1990), Montana State University (1990-1992), University of Washington (1992-1993). He thrived on coaching and scouting.

He joined Lakeside School in 1993, teaching middle school physical education until his retirement in 2014. He enjoyed the Lakeside community — faculty, staff, parents and students but especially enjoyed the students. He shone as a physical education teacher and was adored by many of the students and their parents.

Will’s Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) symptoms were subtle and it took until March 2020 for a formal diagnosis. He handled the gradual but relentless progression of LBD with grace and dignity and he retained the ability to remember and recognize his close friends and family until the end.

Will is survived by his wife, Isobel; sons William Bascus and Michael Bascus (Caitlin), grandchildren Marina and Rosalind; brother Wayne Bascus (Nancy); sisters Amelita Yancy and Jackie Stuart and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial is being planned for 2022.

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