You may not have known his name, but if you walked the levee in the early morning hours anytime between 1997 and the present you were probably greeted with a big smile, a friendly “Good Morning”; and saw him walking two little Yorkshire Terriers, Sassy and Max.
Jan A. Basham was born in Whitney, Texas on April 16, 1937, and entered heaven on October 31, 2011 after a long and courageous battle with advanced Prostate Cancer. He was 74 years old.
His early years were spent in his beloved State of Texas. He married his high school sweetheart in 1955. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1956 and served two years as a Pipefitter in “R” Division aboard the USS Rochester. During his service time he was transplanted to Southern California, which became his home that he shared with his wife of 56 years and where they raised their three children.
From April 1, 1963 to February 14, 1985 he was employed by Edgington Oil Refinery in Long Beach, CA as a shift supervisor. Upon retirement he and Nita moved to Gilroy and became franchisee owners of the 7-Eleven Convenience Store on 10th St. for 12-1/2 years.
He is survived by his wife, Nita; children, JaNan (Basham) and Tom Smith of Gilroy, Thomas and Chris Basham of Chino Hills, CA; and Alan and Donna Basham of Anaheim Hills, CA. His grandchildren – Michael and Karen Smith, Joshua Basham, Janine (Basham) and Darren Van Ryn, Bryan Smith, Jason Basham, Kimiko (Basham) and Bo Villanueva, Kaitlyn Basham; and a great-grandson, Kaeden Villanueva.
A celebration of Jan’s life will be held on Saturday, November 12th, 2011, at 1:00 P.M. at the Foothills Foursquare Church, 8335 Church Street, Gilroy, CA.