Fort Worth philanthropist Nancy Lee Bass dies at age 95
Fort Worth native Nancy Lee Bass, whose family has helped steer the fate of Fort Worth, died at her home Thursday. She was 95.
Bass' family released the news on Friday in a statement given to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, their hometown newspaper.
"Our mother passed away last night peacefully in her home, seven days shy of her 96th birthday," the statement read. "Her life spanned 10 decades of exceptional love, affection and joy."
Bass and her oil magnate husband, Perry, were generous contributors to the arts, and their four sons – Sid, Ed, Bob and Lee – have had their own profound effect on arts and the prosperity of the city. The Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall, which opened in downtown Fort Worth in 1998, marks their significant contributions.
Family spokeswoman Terrell Lamb told the FWST that the idea to put Nancy's name on the hall came from renowned pianist Van Cliburn, who died on Wednesday.
In addition to executing a transformation of downtown Fort Worth, the Basses made a stunning gift of $1 million to 50 charitable institutions on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1991. Perry died in 2006 at age 91.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry reacted to the news in a statement Friday afternoon.
"The generosity of Nancy Lee Bass touched the lives of countless people in Fort Worth, throughout Texas and across the nation," Perry said. "As the matriarch of a legendary Texas family, she all too often found herself in the spotlight, when she vastly preferred quietly giving generously to the causes she and her late husband, Perry Bass, believed in."
Bass is survived by her four sons and numerous grandchildren. No immediate services were scheduled; family attorney Dee Kelly told the Dallas Morning News that a memorial service will likely take place in a couple of weeks.