Basil M. Day, 1934-2021

Basil M. Day, 1934-2021
Basil M. Day, 1934-2021. Photo provided

BARRE, Vt. – Basil Melvin Day, 86, passed away after a brief illness Saturday, March 27, 2021 with his family by his side.

Born Nov. 22, 1934 in Worcester, he was the fifth child born to Ira Harlan and Beulah May (Moore) Day. The family moved several times before settling in North Walpole, N.H., where Basil attended Bellow Falls High School in Vermont and was a proud member of the Class of 1953. He was a four-sport varsity athlete, excelling in football, basketball, baseball, and track, and was also a member of the Glee Club.

In 1953, Basil enlisted in the U.S. Army at Fort Bragg, N.C. Upon his discharge, he returned to Bellows Falls to marry his high school sweetheart, Carol Ann Parker, in 1957. The couple started their married life in Greenfield, Mass. where Basil began a lifelong career in the shoe business. He worked as a sales representative for Dunham’s Footwear, Ball Band, and Uniroyal/Keds. In 1979, Basil and Carol opened their retail store, Day’s Shoe Tree, and it remained a fixture in downtown Barre for 20 years, closing in 1999 upon their retirement.

Basil’s warm and gregarious personality made him a valued friend to all he met. He was a passionate fisherman, hunter, and sportsman, and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of his baseball hero, Ted Williams. He had a beautiful singing voice and loved country music and cowboys. He passed on to his family a deep appreciation for the outdoors and his enthusiasm for boating, snow skiing, and games of any kind. He was his family’s biggest cheerleader, enthusiastically attending all of his daughter’s and grandchildren’s sports and school activities. He always made sure to let them know he was there with a trademark cheer in his booming baritone voice.

Survivors include the love of his life and wife of 65 years, Carol, and his two adoring daughters, Melissa Perley and her husband Paul of Berlin, Vt., and Leslie Craige and her husband Jim of New York, N.Y; his grandchildren to whom he was a devoted and loving grandfather, Michael (Kate), Jesse (Elyse), Ethan (Emily), and Joshua Blouin, and Angus, Ellis, and Parker Craige; and a proud great-grandfather to Porter, Wells, Emerson, and Willow Blouin; as well as many loved cousins, nieces, and nephews, and his treasured best friend, Don Rice.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers Ira Jr., and Charles, and his sister Erma (Bunny) Whitaker.

The service to honor and celebrate his life will be held at the convenience of his family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 1 National Life Dr, Davis 2, Montpelier, VT 05620-3702 or fwinformation@vermont.gov.

Arrangements are by Hooker Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St., Barre. For a memorial guestbook, please visit www.hookerwhitcomb.com.

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