Elvera M. “Vera” Basciani, 100, passed away Wednesday at Garvey Manor in Hollidaysburg. She was born in Altoona, daughter of the late Domenic and Antonetta (Martino) Basciani.
She is survived by nephews: Richard (Barbara) Ball, John (Judie) Basciani, Jim (Carmen) Drass, Gary Basciani, and Vernon (Betty) Elmore; great nephews: Daniel (Tammy) Fusco, Vincent Fusco, Lenny (Rose) Fusco, and Domenic (Lynn) Fusco.
Vera was preceded in death by four brothers: Anthony, Frank, Lou, and Donald Basciani and 2 sisters: Anna Corona and Fanny Ball.
Vera was a 1940 graduate of Altoona High School and later retired from Butterick with 23 years of service.
Vera, and others like her, were pioneers for women in the military. Vera joined the United States Navy during WWII. She said that all of her brothers were in the military and she wanted to do her part. She was a Seaman 1st Class Supply Clerk, a predominately male career field.
After she returned to civilian life, she dedicated her life to taking care of her parents, and then when her sister’s husband died, she faithfully took care of them also. Vera loved doing things for others and she loved to cook and share her cuisine with family and friends. (She may have left a few details out of her recipes).
On Nov. 11, 2019, Vera was the first female Parade Marshal in the Altoona Veteran’s Day Parade. That day was declared by Mayor Pacifico as “Vera Basciani Day” and she was very proud of that. She was a special friend to the Keystone Pin-up Girls, the American Legion Motorcycle Riders, Combat Vets Motorcycle Riders, and the Patriot Guard Riders. She was also a fan of the Altoona Curve and the New York Yankees. Her kindness and smile was always an inspiration to many and she will be sadly missed.
She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Altoona.
Friends will be received from 4-7 pm Friday, July 9, 2021 in the Santella Funeral Home, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10am, Saturday, July 10, 2021 at St. Mary’s Church, Altoona. Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in memory of Vera to Garvey Manor, 1037 S. Logan Blvd. Hollidaysburg PA 16648.
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