Jon Bass

February 5, 1959 - January 15, 2012
Traverse City, MI



Thursday, January 19, 2012
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Traverse City Life Story Funeral Home
Traverse City Location
752 Munson Ave.
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 941-9034
Driving Directions


Friday, January 20, 2012
11:00 AM to 11:45 AM EST
Traverse City First Church of Nazarene
1023 S. Division
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 947-5445

The family will greet friends starting at 10am.


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Traverse City First Church of Nazerene
1023 S. Division
Traverse City, MI 49684

designated for:Safe Harbor Ecumenical Fund


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Cherryland Floral
1208 S. Garfield
Traverse City, MI 49686
(231) 941-5761
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flower Station
341 W. Front St.
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 946-1742
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A man of great faith, Jon Bass was an inspiration to those around him. The Lord Jesus Christ was the most important thing to him and this was reflected in the way he selflessly served those around him. There was no greater gift in Jon’s life than his children, and it was clear to see that they were his pride and joy. Known as a man of great intelligence, he was a great conversationalist who was well versed in nearly every subject, yet he could also capture the attention of young children with his fun-loving spirit. Taken from those he loved much too soon, Jon will be deeply missed while his memory remains forever near and dear to the hearts of many.

The 1950s were a colorful time in America with the explosion of television, the introduction to rock ‘n roll, and the youth’s obsession with Barbie and GI Joe. It was just as this decade was drawing to a close that a young couple from Detroit, Michigan, was eagerly anticipating the birth of their first baby. Their wait was over on February 5, 1959, when baby Jonathan Mark made his arrival in the Women’s Hospital in Detroit. He was the first of three children born to his parents, John Jr. and Eleanor (McClellan) Bass, and weighed in at nearly ten pounds. Jon was a happy baby with a healthy appetite, and he was a delight to his parents.

While still a baby, Jon and his parents moved to Oklahoma where they studied linguistics at the University of Oklahoma. Soon after completing their studies, Jon’s parents were accepted by Wycliffe Bible Translators and moved to Mexico where they underwent jungle survival training to prepare for their work as missionaries. It was in Mexico that Jon celebrated his first birthday.

The family later took a British ship and sailed to Australia, where Jon celebrated his second birthday in Sydney. The family soon left for missionary work and traveled to Papua New Guinea, landing in the mountains surrounded by the native people. The Bass family lived there in a grass roofed house with a dirt floor. It was also during this time that Jon’s sisters, Joye, and Jackie were born. When Jon was eight years old they left New Guinea on furlough and returned to Michigan. This was a bit of a culture shock for Jon and his sisters as they didn’t have toys, televisions or microwaves and were used to running around barefoot and with little clothing. After one year in the states they returned to New Guinea where he again enjoyed being with his friends and with the natives. Jon graduated from high school in New Guinea in 1977.

Shortly after high school Jon left the family in New Guinea and moved to Traverse City where he lived with his aunt and uncle while attending the NMC automotive program. While in college, Jon worked with AW Rickerd Monument creating cemetery markers and installing them at various cemeteries.

Life was forever changed for Jon when he met the woman who stole his heart. Her name was Jackie, and they met at the little Free Methodist Church on 14th street. Although Jon assumed she was taken since she was sitting with another young man, he was thrilled when she asked him to go roller skating. He was less than graceful on a pair of skates, knocking down children in his wake, but Jackie was willing to overlook it and the couple began dating. A new chapter in their lives began when Jon took his sweetheart for a nice dinner at Bower Harbor Inn. Dinner was followed by a romantic stroll across the street to the marina where Jon proposed with a brilliant sunset as a backdrop. They were married on October 25, 1980.

On January 4, 1982, Jon and Jackie brought a beautiful son named Steven into the world. It was a day to remember as there was a blizzard, and they had to call the sheriff to drive them to the hospital. Jon was so nervous he talked during the entire trip! On June 21, 1985, they were delighted with the birth of a beautiful girl they name Stefanie. As a young father, Jon worked at Boride Engineered Abrasives where he remained for many years. He was also an active part of his children’s lives, regularly attending his son’s Little League events. Jon was always so proud of his children’s accomplishments in regards to their educational endeavors including their most recent undertakings as college students.

Faith always played an important role in Jon’s life. In 1987 the Bass family began attending the Nazarene Church in Traverse City. Jon was active there in a variety of ways including Vacation Bible School, Sunday School teacher and church treasurer. He also loved to work with the youth and regularly transported many people back and forth to church.

Although his family was first and foremost in his life, Jon was always busy doing something. His career took him to Mold & Die Technology where he currently worked as the branch manager. Jon was also active with Safe Harbor, providing aid to the homeless in the area. Even when he didn’t feel well, Jon picked up his homeless friends to transport them to the Safe Harbor Church. Through his selfless and kindhearted ways, Jon blessed the lives of so many within his reach.

Later in life, as Jon entered his empty-nest years, he developed a close bond with Stefanie’s best buddy, Wrigley when she had to leave for college. Wrigley, a Rottweiler, became Jon’s best friend and constant companion.

As his friends and family can attest, Jon Bass was an extraordinary man to know and love. His signature was the word “hello,” and he said it so often that even his goodbyes were accompanied by his favorite word. He was a man who fully dedicated himself to everyone and everything he treasured and although he was private by nature, his family never questioned how deeply they were loved. A man of great strength, unwavering faith, and loving gestures, Jon will never be forgotten.

On Sunday, January 15, 2012, while in the comfort of his home, Jonathan M. Bass left this earth and entered his forever home in heaven. Jon’s family includes Jackie Bass of Traverse City; children, Steven Bass of Berkley, CA and Stefanie Bass of Houghton, MI; mother, Louise Bass of Traverse City; sisters, Joye (Jack) Judy of Holt and Jackie (Dan) Dillinger of Lansing and his devoted Rottweiler, Wrigley. Jon was preceded in death by his father, John Bass, Jr. A gathering for family and friends will be held 4-7 p.m. Thursday, January 19, 2012, at the Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City. Funeral Services will be held 11 a.m., Friday, January 20, 2012, at the Traverse City First Church of the Nazarene; where the family will greet friends one hour prior. Memorial contributions may be made to Traverse City First Church of the Nazarene, 1023 S. Division, Traverse City, MI 49684; designate, Safe Harbor Ecumenical Fund.

Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to sign the guest book and share a memory with his family.