Vivian Bassmann

The Baltimore Sun

Vivian W. Bassmann, a former educator and world traveler who enjoyed landscaping her Sykesville home, died there Saturday of a heart attack. She was 62.

Vivian Wolfing was born in Baltimore and raised in Catonsville. After graduating from the old Samuel Ready School in 1962, she traveled to Indonesia to work for an oil company.

"She later traveled through India on a motorcycle and visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos before returning home to go to college," said her husband of 30 years, Kenneth C. Bassmann, an IBM executive processing manager.

After earning her bachelor's degree in the late 1960s from what is now Towson University, she began teaching kindergarten at Lake Shore Elementary School in Anne Arundel County. She also taught in Germany, where her husband was stationed with the Air Force.

"She was very energetic and loved teaching kids. She had good ideas and follow-through," said Dalice Grauch, a longtime friend and educator. "I remember when she and Heather, her daughter, who was 3 or 4 at the time, spent the summer backpacking through Europe. She just packed her up, and off they went."

She left teaching full time in 1977 to raise her family, though she occasionally worked as a substitute teacher in Carroll County public schools.

Mrs. Bassmann was a graduate of the Master Gardener program sponsored by the American Horticultural Society. "We have 10 acres of land, and she landscaped our home with lots of hostas, lilies and other perennials. She also was fond of Japanese maples and planted several of them," Mr. Bassmann said.

Mrs. Bassmann also sculpted, and painted portraits and flowers in watercolors. Additional artistic interests included working with stained glass and printmaking.

A memorial gathering will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Burrier-Queen Funeral Home, 1212 W. Liberty Road, Winfield.

Also surviving are a son, Gregory A. Bassmann of Sykesville; a daughter, Heather L. Bassman of Baltimore; three brothers, Robert Wolfing of Mount Airy, Harold Wolfing of Hendersonville, N.C., and Timothy Wolfing of Coconut Creek, Fla.; and a sister, Linda Meyers of Ellicott City.

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