Dr. Harold Julius Bassett

Dr. Harold Julius Bassett passed away December 9th, 2012, after a long and productive life. He was 95.

Harold was born on May 7, 1917 in Newton, Mississippi. During WW II, he was a captain in the U.S.  Army, serving in the field artillery. After the war he attended Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin (Madison), graduating in 1951 with a PhD in dairy science.

Dr. Bassett went on to become a nationally-respected expert in the field of dairy technology. After working in the private sector, including at Midwest Research Institute (now MRIGlobal) in Kansas City, he accepted a professorship in food science and nutrition at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1969. As a professor in the Extension Division, he was able to mentor many new food scientists, and they remain an important part of his legacy. Dr. Bassett retired in 1982 and continued to consult for various dairy industry groups for many more years.

Harold married Ruth Elizabeth Emery on June 18, 1949. They were married for 62 years and raised five children. Harold was an enthusiastic member of the Midwest Rock and Lapidary Club, and he and Ruth loved to camp and travel. After his retirement, they spent many happy years collecting rocks, jewelry, and adventures in all 50 states.

He is survived by his daughters, Barbara Bassett, Columbia; Shellie Bassett, Lee’s Summit; Amy Bassett, Columbia; and Betty Higgins (Mark), Tulsa, OK; son Kenneth Bassett (Jeannie), Columbia; granddaughter Emily Martin (Nick), Columbia; and grandson Brian Higgins, Tulsa, OK. His wife Ruth preceded him in death last year.

A memorial service is planned for the spring of 2013. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate cards. These can be sent to Barbara Bassett, P.O Box 7025, Columbia, MO, 65205.


  1. Dr Thomas E Billings on December 23, 2012 at 6:31 am

    What a dear man. What a good friend. Always kind..always insightful in so many ways. One of the last of the true Southern Gentlemen. Made my life in Gentry Hall, where I first met him, so much easier. Blessings on his sweet soul.

  2. Linda Pearson on December 25, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family this holiday season. He is missed by many. I thank the family for giving me the privilege to assist Harold in his time of need. I will miss my “awesome possum.” Harold was a wonderful man. He was a pleasure to have as my client.

  3. Nylon Bassett Stone on January 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    My Dear Cousins,
    What a surprise to find info about one of my first cousins on The Bassett Newsletter. My father, Rob Roy, and Harold’s father were brothers. I have fond memories of knowing Harold, his brother Pete, and dear Aunt Blanche. My love and fondest memories go out to Harold and Ruth’s children and grandchildren.

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