Institute Professor leaves legacy of genuine caring

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Courtesy of Orem University Institute of Religion
Courtesy of Orem University Institute of Religion

Some may remember Doug Bassett as the white-haired man who could run circles around them on the racquetball court. Others recall him as a caring, devoted LDS institute teacher who lifted them up and gave them hope for the future.

He was born in 1950, and passed away on May 19, 2010 in Mona, Utah, at his home, surrounded by his family.

He taught at the Orem University Institute of Religion for the last 14 years as part of his 30 years working for the church education system. He usually taught classes about the Book of Mormon or prophets in addition to ones specifically for returned missionaries,

“He didn’t see himself as a scholar; he saw himself as a life long learner, even though he had a master’s and [a] PhD,” said his wife, Arlene Bassett. “His desire to always be learning is part of what made him a great teacher. He understood his students better.”

Doug was not the kind of teacher that only instructed his students in a classroom setting. He would often have gatherings and humanitarian projects at his home. He enjoyed seeing how the LDS gospel applied to the lives of his students and believed it was just as important to interact with and support his students outside the classroom as it was to do so in it. He could often be spotted at a ball game one of his students was playing in, cheering him or her along.

“He felt he couldn’t be an effective teacher unless the students knew he loved them,” Arlene said.

Students were often seeking advice from him, trusting his years of experience to help them push through their struggles and find success.

Toward the end of his life, he became too ill to even leave his home at times, but he was still trying to think of ways to serve those around him. It had become burdensome to him to not be able to get out and serve.

“He believed that we don’t live our days for ourselves, we live to help others, those around us,” Arlene said.

Doug Bassett will be greatly missed by those who were influenced by his caring, wisdom and kindness.

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