Laureen A Basta, age 69, died September 7, 2023 in peace at home with family. After a 13 year battle with cancer, she has been called to everlasting life with her Lord and Savior. She was born in Manchester CT, daughter of Bill and Virginia (Stepnowski) Press. She was the beloved wife of Louis Basta for 45 years. Besides her husband, she leaves two children Shawn (spouse Rebecca) Bact and Michael Basta. She also leaves sisters Karen Simcic, Donna Gagnon, brother Jim Press, sister-in-law Toni Maira and grandchildren Mila and Ariel Bact, as well as nieces Sarah, Deborah, Ashley, Cassandra, Natalie, Heather and nephews Joseph, Cole, James, as well as grandnieces Sara, Candace, Kiersten, Megan, and Molly and grandnephews Adam, Michael, Isaiah and Bryson. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by niece Laurie Bullaro and brother-in-law Francis Simcic.
Laureen was a longtime Simsbury resident. After a successful eleven year career at Aetna as an individual health underwriter, she retired to raise her family. Her life revolved around family and helping others. She relished getting together with the entire extended family for birthdays and holidays and some vacations. Her schedule revolved around the children’s many activities, cheering and supporting every one of them. Her spiritual beliefs were of paramount importance and guided every aspect of her life. She was a parishioner of St. Mary Church in Simsbury, a Eucharistic Minister focusing on the homebound, a Stephen Minister, and a member of the Women’s Guild. She instructed religious education for preschool through high school children for over twenty years. She helped start the preschool Sunday program and published a book of children’s prayers used by the program. Beside her church service, she volunteered many years at Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, Foodshare, McDonough Elementary School, and Simsbury Junior Women’s Club. She was a girl scout troop leader and regional coordinator for the Farmington Valley GS chapter. She created the Central Elementary School Publishing Center which enabled children to have their stories come alive in spiral-bound books. She spread this program to other Simsbury elementary schools. She was a paraprofessional at Tootin Hills Elementary School for two years. She helped create the first Simsbury High School student- parent directory. Laureen loved to bake, especially at Christmas. Literally, she baked thousands of cookies and gave cookie trays as gifts. She was a Wilton-trained cake decorator and instructor, creating cakes for all occasions. She also enjoyed cross- stitching and loved traveling domestically and abroad with Lou.
There will be calling hours from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, September 15th at the Vincent Funeral Home, 880 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, September 16th at 11:00 AM at St. Mary Church, 942 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, followed by services at Simsbury Cemetery. Knowing her compassion for children, in lieu of flowers, donations could be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Special thanks to all the dedicated and compassionate doctors, nurses and staff at St. Francis hospital (especially oncologist Dr. Adam Boruchov), the Smilow Cancer Center at both St. Francis and Yale New Haven Health, and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York.
Please visit Laureen’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.