Katherine (Kathy) Lucinda Gillespie Basham passed away on Tuesday, March 23rd, at the age of 71. She was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Annie Gillespie; in-laws Ernest and Anna Basham; brother-in-law and sister-in-law E. Sherman and Doris Basham; paternal grandparents, Joel and Lucy Gillespie; maternal grandparents, T.C. and Callie Gulliams.
She is survived by her husband Gary L. Basham of 49 years; brothers Bobby and wife Lanae Gillespie, William (Billy) Gillespie and Sandra Hartman; and her special niece, Kristen and husband Ryan Dunagan and great-nephew Owen Joel Dunagan, all of Vinton. She is also survived by many special friends especially Charmaine Cress.
She was born July 12, 1949 at Jefferson Hospital. She graduated from Jefferson High School in 1967, Radford College (University) in 1971 with a B.S. degree in Music Education, and Roanoke Memorial Hospital School of Professional Nursing in 1974. She was employed at Roanoke Memorial Hospital for many years. She was a member of 9th Street Church of the Brethren, then a member of First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, and currently a member of First Baptist Church since 1984. She was a soloist in several churches in Roanoke and Vinton. At First Baptist she was a member of the Berean Sunday School Class, sang in the Celebration Choir, the women’s ensemble Heartsong, played handbells, and was a Children’s Choir worker for many years. She has been a member of the Roanoke Valley Chorus, Roanoke Valley Choral Society, Virginia Choral Society, and the Roanoke Symphony Chorus.
She was a soloist with the U.S. National Chorus European Tour in 1989 and 1990 under the director of Stan Kingma. She was a member of the Thursday Morning Music Club. On several occasions, she sang the National Anthems of Canada and the U.S. at the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekah Assemblies, GMC and IALAPM. She was a soloist for IALAPM. She was a Past Nobel Grand and member of Harmony Rebekah Lodge #36, Past Secretary of the Roanoke Auxiliary #11 LAPM, and Co-Chairman of the Odd Fellows and Rebekah Grand Lodge Convention of VA from 2011-2020.
She also played the piano and sang at the Rescue Mission once a month for T.E. (Jack) Roberts and John and Evelyn McCormack from 1985-2011.
She was diagnosed with FSHD Muscular Dystrophy in 2004. Also, she was a cancer survivor.
Service will be held at Lotz Funeral Home, Vinton at 11am on Saturday, March 27th. The service will be led by Dr. Bryan E. Smith and Pastor Daniel Rudy. Burial will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Roanoke. Visitation will be from 6pm-8pm on Friday, March 26th at Lotz. A short Rebekah Service will be held during visitation at 7pm. Facial masks will be required.
The family would also like to give special thanks to Dr. William Ball for his care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Camp Bethel, 328 Bethel Road, Fincastle, VA 24090 or St. Jude’s Hospital. Online condolences and a live webcast may be found at www.lotzfuneralhomevinton.com
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