Robert Ness Bass ’40 died on October 27, 2006, in Falmouth.
Robert Ness Bass ’40 died on October 27, 2006, in Falmouth. Born in Wilton on August 23, 1917, he prepared for college at Wilton Academy and at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, and became a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at Bowdoin. Following his graduation in 1940, he received a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, attaining the rank of lieutenant and serving as gunnery officer in a forward turret of the USS Phoenix. Following the war, he joined the family shoemaking business, G. H. Bass & Company, serving as treasurer, president, and chairman of the board of directors until his retirement in 1978, when the Bass firm was acquired by Cheeseborough Ponds, Inc. He helped form the Sugarloaf Mountain Ski Club and the Sugarloaf Mountain Corporation in the early 1950s and served as president of Sugarloaf for its first 12 years. He was inducted into the Maine Ski Hall of Fame in 2003. He was a director of the New England Shoe and Leather Companies Association, the Maine State Publicity Bureau, and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Advisory Board of Maine’s Department of Economic Development. He was also a member of the board of the Depositors Trust Company, a trustee and vice president of the New England Higher Education Assistance Foundation, and a member of the Executive Board of the Pine Tree Council, Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the Cumberland Club, the Wilson Lake Country Club, the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club, and the St. Maurice Fish and Game Club in Tiqie, Quebec, Canada. He was a member of Bowdoin’s Board of Overseers from 1964 to 1980, and a member of the Alumni Council. He was married in 1948 to Martha W. Lord, who died in 2005, and is survived by three sons, John R. Bass II ’71 of Portland, Peter L. Bass of Yarmouth, and Robert N. Bass, Jr. ’79 of Orono; two daughters, Ann E. Bass and Mary L. Bass; 11 grandchildren, including Hannah L. Bass of Yarmouth and James W. Bass ’02 of Portland; and one great- grandson.