Henry Joseph Bass, 93

Apr 21, 2020

Henry Joseph Bass was born on July 8, 1926 in Robertson County, Tennessee to Hugh Bass Sr. and Florence Forte Bass. He was one of seven siblings. His childhood was spent in Indianapolis, Indiana where he attended Crispus Attucks High School. His strong mathematical acumen gained his acceptance to Purdue University for engineering in 1944. In November 1945, he volunteered for the Navy and ten months later, was drafted by the US Army. Upon receiving an Honorable Discharge on or about 1951, he returned to Purdue and attended for another year. 

While stationed at Fort Devens in MA, Henry met Virginia Ann Neves of Boston through mutual friends and they married in August 1953. Henry gained employment as an Engineer with Rand Corporation in Indiana where son Steven Henry was born in September 1954. The young family then transferred to Kingston, NY and had daughter, Joyce Elizabeth in May 1957. During 1959 Rand Corporation divested and Joe found his passion as a Computer Programmer with System Development Corporation (SDC). As a result of his employment with SDC, the family also enjoyed residences in California, and Cape Cod before settling in Lexington.

In 1969, Henry’s passion to lead and design along with fellow entrepreneur, Thomas Farrington founded IOCS (Input Output Computer Services) in Waltham. IOCS was lauded as one of the first Black owned technology firms in the country to deliver innovative software services to Government and private industries. IOCS achieved many business awards and accolades, including being listed on Black Enterprises’ Top 100 firms for over a decade. Henry’s enterprising nature was not solely focused in technology as he invested in many ventures including: The Turks Head, a jazz coffee shop in Wellfleet, MA: an Arabian racehorse named Foalita; and numerous real estate properties, most of which were located at Cape Cod and surrounded by water.

Joe was a faithful member to his church, St. Paul AME in Cambridge for over 60 years and served as a Trustee. He was a member of both the church’s choir and the Men’s choir and loved to sing old Negro Spirituals. His love of music included folk songs and as a member of a Folk choir, he traveled with them to sing in Costa Rica.

Joe led a very active social life including playing tennis, softball, horseshoes, ping pong, bowling and going fishing. He was a true Boston fan and enjoyed watching the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics as well as boxing and golf. The many that knew Joe, knew he truly loved and enjoyed food. He even tended a vegetable garden after he retired, started by his friend, Dale Frye. He was a master at preparing delicious meals and welcomed all types of food gifted to him from loved ones. His preference was always “pot luck”. Many nieces & nephews would look forward to “Uncle Henry’s homemade peach ice cream” at family reunions.

Joe possessed many admirable qualities and traits that endeared him to many. He will always be remembered for his quick wit, sense of humor and gift of laughter. He loved to engage in debate-like conversations with everyone, often taking the opposing side to “keep the conversation going”. His favorite topics were sports, business, politics and religion. His love for family, friends, food and money were insurmountable.

Known by all as frugal, Joe loved a great bargain and would marvel at his newly acquired item or antique. He can be quoted as saying, “First have fun, then make money”. He was blessed to live out his dream to fruition- retiring in Onset by the water that he cherished so much.

Henry Joseph Bass leaves to cherish his memory a son, Steven H. Bass; daughter, Joyce E. (Bass)Wall; son-in-law, John R. Wall; grandson, Marques R. Wall; granddaughter, Ashley N. Wall, dear friend Pricilla Bannister Huggins; Cece Huggins: Scott Huggins; God daughter Seren Huggins; sister-in-law, Isabelle Neves Nicks; and a plethora of nieces, nephews and friends who loved him dearly. 

He was the former husband of the late Virginia A. Bass. He was also the loving brother of the late Hugh Bass Jr., Frank Bass, Nellie Bass Rhim, George Bass, John “Howard” Bass, Robert Bass; and beloved Dad of his late dog, Molly. 

Due to ongoing restrictions in place, a memorial service will be planned at a later date.

Arrangements by Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Wareham. To leave a message of condolence visit: www.ccgfuneralhome.com.