Dansville- Callista “Jean” Curry Basta age 92, passed away peacefully Friday February 1, 2019, at the Leo Center at St. Anne’s Community in Rochester where she had been a resident since September of 2018.
She was born in Ogdensburg NY, on November 2, 1926, a daughter of the late Amos and Marguerite (Leonard) Curry. On August 28, 1954, in Norwood NY she was married to Francis “Frank” Basta who predeceased her in 2012 after 58 years of marriage. She was also predeceased by a son James in 1985, siblings, Mary Elizabeth Curry Whalen, Anne Curry Towne, Delores Curry Sitterley and Walter Leonard Curry.
Callista graduated from Norwood High School in 1944 and went on to receive her B.A degree from Good Counsel College in 1948. Jean studied at Fordham University School of Social Work and received her M.A. in social work in 1958 from St. Louis University. In 1950 she moved to New York City and started her working career at Catholic Charities and the Bureau for Dependent Children. This is where she met and fell in love with her future husband Mr. Francis “Frank” Basta. In 1955 they moved to Dansville where Frank began his career as a High School English Teacher at Dansville High School and Jean as a Social Worker for the Livingston County Department of Welfare and Children’s Services. In 1956 jean took a leave of absence from her work to start her family, eventually returning to work in 1962 for the Livingston County Department of Social Services-Adaptation Division. In 1967, following a second maternity leave she went to work at SUNY Geneseo and taught school nurse teachers, which lead her to her career at Dansville Memorial Hospital Social Services Department. Upon completion of the Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital Jean was the Supervisor of the Social Service Work Department where she started many programs including, Meals on Wheels, LATS Transportation for residents of Livingston County. She held this position until her retirement in 1989.
She was a communicant of the Holy Family Catholic Community at St. Mary’s Church in Dansville. Jean’s love for her community continued as she remained active in the Livingston County Children’s Protective and Welfare Association for over 50 years serving as President, Vice President, and Treasure. She was active in her community with the Livingston County Homemaker Services and was a member of the original steering committee and a member of the first board of directors. She served on the Livingston County Department Health Board and was as a Girl Scout Leader. Jean and Frank served the Meals on Wheels and the Cancer Society programs as volunteer delivery drivers. They were both volunteers at the Dansville Area Ecumenical Food Pantry where Jean had also served as the volunteer Coordinator. Jean had the honor of receiving a citation from New York Assembly for “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” in 1995 for the Village of Dansville. Along with being a community steward she was an avid gardener, reader, loved music and dancing, entertaining with a flair for cooking. She loved being with family and friends and was the unofficial photographer of family functions.
Jean and Frank liked traveling through the USA and Canada. They traveled extensively abroad to many countries. Their favorite was a trip to China. Jean loved swimming and her favorite spot was Stony Brook State Park where she taught half the Dansville children to swim.
She is survived by her son Michael Basta of Rochester, NY and sister in-law Marie Tabone Curry of Mount Dora, FL and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Friends called Tuesday Feb 5th from 4 to 7 pm at the Hindle Funeral Home, Inc. 271 Main St, Dansville. A funeral Mass was held at St. Mary’s church Wednesday Feb 6th at 11:00 am. Interment will be next to Frank in Holy Cross Cemetery Dansville. Online remembrances may be left at HindleFuneralHome.com.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Livingston Country Children Protective and Welfare Association on behalf of Calista Jean Basta.