Robert "Bob" Bassett, 71, radio, TV personalityRobert...


Robert "Bob" Bassett, 71, radio, TV personality

Robert "Bob" Bassett, a veteran radio and television personality, died July 6 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, at his Columbia home. He was 71.

In 1987, Mr. Bassett was host of a midday show on radio station WITH in Baltimore, playing jazz and big-band music. Because of his illness, he was forced to retire a year later.

The Norwood, Mass., native was raised in Needham, Mass. He earned his bachelor's degree from Emerson College in 1952.

He worked at radio stations in New England and New York, and from 1961 until 1980, was host of "Community" on WTEV-TV in New Bedford, Mass., where he also did sports commentary.

In 1981, he moved to Maryland and joined WEAM in Washington, where each day he broadcast a different version of the song "Stardust" on his afternoon show.

He also initiated a movie quiz for listeners, conducted a nightly jazz program and served as an emcee for the Kool Jazz Festivals at the Kennedy Center. He also worked as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institution vintage recording program.

He served in the Army during the Korean War. His decorations included the Purple Heart.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete yesterday.

He is survived by his wife of 19 years, the former Joan Roderick; a son, Gordon Bassett of Catonsville; a daughter, Leslie Frizzell of Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; a brother, Arthur Bassett of Needham; a sister, Judith Atkins of Colorado; two grandchildren; a stepson, Philli Barrows of New Bedford; a stepdaughter, Lynne Lewis of Columbia; and four step-grandchildren.

Helen T. Ellerbe, 78, nurse at VA and NIH

Helen T. Ellerbe, a retired nurse and former Baltimore resident, died July 6 of cancer at the Washington home of a son. She was 78.

Mrs. Ellerbe retired as a nurse-technician from the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington in 1990. Earlier, she had worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

Born Helen Torrence in Sparrows Point, she graduated from Douglass High School in Baltimore in 1941. She received her nurse's training in Baltimore.

A resident of Washington's North Michigan Park community, she married Lacy Ellerbe in 1952. He survives her.

She was active in her neighborhood association and the Riggs Boys' Club Parents Association.

Services will be held at 12:30 p.m. today at Epworth Chapel United Methodist Church, St. Lukes Lane and Liberty Road, Woodmoor.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Ellerbe is survived by two sons, Jeffrey S. Ellerbe and Lacy T. Ellerbe, both of Washington; a sister, Dorothy Furguson of Baltimore; and two grandchildren.

Ray A. Spiker, 80, Martin Marietta engineer

Ray A. Spiker, a retired engineer, died July 6 of a heart attack at Tifton General Hospital in Tifton, Ga. He was 80 and had lived in Glen Arm.

He retired in the 1970s from Martin Marietta Corp., where he had helped design and install communications systems.

Born in Baltimore, he was raised in the Patterson Park area and attended local public schools. He lived in Glen Arm from the 1940s to the 1970s, when he moved to Florida.

Mr. Spiker served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II.

In 1939, he married Anita May Jubo, who survives him and lives in Tifton.

Funeral services were held Saturday in Tifton.

He also is survived by three sons, Roy Spiker of Adele, Ga., Don Spiker of Easton and Van Spiker of Newport News, Va.; five grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.

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