Tom (Everett) Bascochea was born on July 6th, 1936 in Colusa, California to Ramon and Rozella Bascochea. He was the second of what would be seven siblings. Tom lived in Williams his entire life and was frequently overheard asking out-of-towners “what the hell are you doing in God’s Country?”, which is what he considered his hometown.
He attended all of the Williams schools, played football at Williams High School, and raised hell in his off hours from work. He tried leaving Williams to attend Humboldt State University and play football, but distance really did make the heart grow fonder, and so he moved home. Tom was also needed at home to help support his brothers and sisters.
In 1958, Tom married the love of his life, Mary. The two quickly started a family and raised three beautiful children. Even in the end, Tom’s love for Mary never faded. One of his favorite Bascoisms was smugly telling Mary “I think I’ll keep you”, while he chuckled and shuffled off to his workshop.
Like many in Williams, Tom was a consummate hard worker. He employed his skills at various businesses throughout the community, but his longest stint was as the manager and shareholder at Endeman Feed and Pellet Mill. After Endeman’s closing in the 1980s, Tom continued working at various ag-related jobs until his retirement and created many close friendships along the way.
Off the clock, Tom was an accomplished woodworker, gardener and handyman. He found something he wanted and figured out how to get ‘er done, from making a still for moonshine, to building a stereo and television, to creating beautiful wood projects. A gifted gardener, Tom grew the best damn tomatoes in North America. He was a walking encyclopedia of knowledge when it came to many things, but especially classic firearms. At its peak, his collection was enough to inspire jealousy in the finest museum curators. Tom was also an avid pyromaniac, gleefully lighting bonfires with a bravado that would make modern government regulators shiver in their boots.
In his spare time, he was involved with the Williams Volunteer Fire Department serving as Captain, Chief and finally Commissioner. While representing Williams Fire Department, Tom was a frequent attendee at the various activities including the hunt and collection of the town Christmas tree.
Tom was a friend to all, even those that he never met. He was famous for never letting a car pass him on the road without a friendly wave. On one historic drive from Williams to Chico, he waved to over 200 confused strangers from his Chevrolet pickup truck — many of them blazing in the opposite direction at 80 mph.
Tom’s greatest joy has always been spending time with family and friends. As skilled event planners, Tom and Mary threw the best parties in Williams. With a large stein of Budweiser splashing around, he played master of ceremonies, BBQ pit master, pyrotechnic coordinator, and bartender.
For one of his last parties, he was proud to make it to Georgia to see his grandson’s wedding. It was here that he delivered his finest “Basco” speech, one where he casually proclaimed to the crowd of 180 people that the bride and groom would give birth to twins. His prediction has yet to be proven false. Tom’s family consider themselves to be very lucky to have the time they did with him after his illness.
Tom is survived by Mary, his wife of 62 years, daughters Brigette (Bobby), Kristina, his son Tom (Too), grandkids Hayley (Cesar), Daniel (Ashley), Andrea (Ryan), Mason, and Scott, great granddaughters Celeste and Charlotte, brothers Ramon (Joann), Martin(Suzanne), Robert (Teresa), and sister Rose, brothers-in-law Scott Lundberg and Sister in law Jo (Roy) Bigge, honorary kids Matthew (Nancy) and Melissa (Rick), numerous nieces and nephews and cousins and many friends of all ages that he considered to be his family too. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother David and sisters Josephine and Felisa.
Due to the current pandemic the family will not be holding a celebration of life and ask you to donate in his name to the Williams Volunteer Fire Department in lieu of flowers. ■
08/26/2020 • WPR #2020-1038