It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Fred "Orest" Basisty, a resident of Fort St. John, British Columbia, on Sunday, June 19, 2022, at the age of 94 years.
Orest was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He left this world peacefully, and joined his wife of 66 years, Mae, who passed in 2021.
Orest was born in Mundare, Alberta to parents John and Katherine Basisty. His family moved to Prestville, Alberta in 1929. He was one of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. Having been born into a farming family, he quickly grew to honour a hard day’s work, and became skilled at farm labor. He attended school until the end of grade 8, and then was needed to work the farm with his father.
Orest met his wife Mae at a dance on New Year’s Eve in 1953. They married two and a half years later, in 1956. Together they attended many dances, and although he sometimes played fiddle in the band, he mostly enjoyed dancing with his wife. Their family grew between 1961 and 1966 when they added three children: Brian, Bruce, and Lorann. They stayed in Rycroft, Alberta until 1970 when Orest moved to Fort St. John to work for Flint Engineering and Construction as a mechanic. Mae and the family joined him there in 1971, where they both worked while raising the children.
He eventually moved into the position of Construction Superintendent with Flint, and provided pipeline estimates, and supervised many pipeline projects. He enjoyed his work in the oilfield, but he always missed the farm life. The family spent many weekends traveling back to the Rycroft area to help on the family farms.
Orest enjoyed many activities over the years. He could be found fishing, curling, golfing, traveling, doing woodwork, gardening, and cooking. He was very proud of his gardens with Mae. They always had a beautiful yard with many flowers, and at least one vegetable garden (but sometimes as many as three!). In later years, he found his way into the kitchen, and loved to treat his friends and family with homemade meals and treats (carrot cake, cowboy cookies, and cherry winks were some favorites.)
Along with Mae, Orest joined the Alliance Church and was baptized in 1984. Many cherished friendships were made through the church, and they were both thankful for having fellowship through services, bible studies, choir, social events, and the shared meals after Sunday service.
Orest was a bit competitive! He made a cribbage board completely by hand (even drilling the holes) as therapy for his shoulder injury many years ago. He was always ready for a game on that board with whoever was willing to play. He won a lot, and his opponent would suggest a bit of luck had come his way, but he would grin and say, “you still have to know how to play the cards!”
Dad remained a dedicated husband to Mae when her health declined. He visited her every day at Peace Villas, until Covid prevented it. When visitation was restored, he was so happy to be spending time with her again! After her passing, he missed her terribly.
His health declined over the last year and a half, following a cancer diagnosis. He agreed to take whatever treatment the oncologists would offer up and maintained a sense of humor throughout. His favorite joke with the medical staff was when they asked his birthdate and he replied, “September 6th, 1972!” He would watch closely to see if they caught his joke and have a good laugh at their response.
Mourning his passing are his children Brian (Shannon), Bruce (Janet), and Lorann Shand (Greg); grandsons Jacob and Zachary Basisty, and Benjamin and Matthew Shand; his sisters Mary Brandt, and Carol Basisty; and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
He is predeceased by his loving wife Mae; and brothers Jerry and Bud.
The family would like to thank the staff and residents at North Peace Senior Housing (Lutheran Apartments) where he lived for the last four months - he loved it there, and said it felt like he had, “died and gone to Heaven!” Many thanks for the years of care provided by Dr. Thomson, and staff at the Fort St John Hospital. The care provided by both the Community Cancer Centre (Fort St John) and BC Cancer Centre for the North (Prince George) was incredible - thank you all. There are so many programs that supported Orest staying in his home with assistance, and we thank you so much for giving him his bit of independence! Special thanks to June, Christine, Robbie, Shelley (Julius) for the many times you thought of calling or visiting with dad - he considered himself a very lucky man to have you all as friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date for Orest and Mae, together forever.
For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Orest to the Peace Lutheran Care Centre Foundation, 9907 110th Avenue Fort St. John, BC, V1J 2S9, or Fort St. John Alliance Church, 9804 - 99 Avenue, Fort St. John, BC, V1J 5A5.
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium