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Spring Hill
Friday, June 14, 2024

John P. Basile

John P. Basile (aka Johnny B.) passed away on May 22nd, 2024, at the age of 96 at Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville, Florida. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, on October 26th, 1927. He was the son of Nicholas Basile and Anna Sanserverino Vecchio. He had two sisters, Mary Recine (the oldest) and Lucrezia (Grace) Barbiero Odice (the youngest), and three older brothers and two older sisters.

He later moved to Connecticut where he received most of his education. As a young man, he attended St. Mary’s School, The University School, The State Trade School (now known as Bullard Haven’s Technical School) and received a high school diploma from Central High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1944 and served in the Asiatic-Pacific on board the USS GENERAL A. E. ANDERSON. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1946. Previously, he had joined the Army and after boot camp, his Mother informed them he was underage. He was honorably discharged from the Army as well.

Subsequently, he found work at the Bridgeport Sunday Herald as an apprentice pressman. His distinguished career in law enforcement commenced in 1952 when he joined the Bpt. Police Force. His career began with the dedication to achievement and public service which was typified in its entirety.
As a young patrolman, John received ten commendations for outstanding arrests in his first five years of service. During this period, he served on foot patrol in high-crime areas and was later assigned to a patrol car. He received a commendation of special note when he dove from a bridge into dangerous currents in order to save the life of an elderly man.

John’s bravery is equally complimented by his dedication to excellence. He has won many trophies at shooting competitions and is one of the few men in the department to have attained a perfect 300 score.
Perhaps the greatest tribute to the ability and dedication of this man is seen in his rise through police ranks. He has been successful on Civil Services tests for the ranks of Detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain.

He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 1961 and was assigned to be Commander of the Canine Corps. During this period, he was responsible for the training and supervision of fifteen men and their police dogs. The Canine Corps served the people of Bridgeport admirably under then Sergeant Basile with repeated commendations for the division’s activities.

In 1966, John was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and was assigned as Commander of the Bpt. Police Training Academy. His duties involved the development of a fifteen-week training program for recruits and in-service training for active department members.

In 1970, John was made Commander of the Special Police Task Force. His duties included the development of a fifty-three-man special police force to serve in various Bpt. Housing projects. John developed mini police stations in each of the three projects and was responsible for their supervision.

In 1975 John was made Commander of Crime Prevention. At this time, he attended various educational institutions in the study of crime prevention and made numerous visits to local business establishments and homeowners as well as lectures to large groups, to educate the public in modern crime prevention.
The outstanding achievement of John Basile in the Bpt. Police Department finally culminated in his promotion to the rank of Captain in 1979. His responsibilities at this point became most challenging since he was responsible for the activities of two lieutenants, five sergeants and forty-five patrolmen.

While he subsequently left the Bpt. Police Force in 1981, his career had still progressed. Once a patrolman walking a foot patrol in a high crime area of Bpt. he achieved the position of Chief of Police of the Bethel Police Department for sixteen years.

Chief John P. Basile had served with distinction, honor and bravery to the people of his community.
After he retired, finally, at the age of 70, he relocated to Spring Hill, Florida with his fiancé, Dolli Pavia (who succumbed to cancer and passed in 1999). He resided in a beautiful and active over fifty-five community, Timber Pines, where he enjoyed many activities. He once said, “We found our Garden of Eden in Timber Pines (the greenery, the lakes and the wildlife made each day a blessing to be here. We used to joke that I was afraid to die and go to heaven because it might not be as nice as Timber Pines.” He loved his home with an amazing view, and loved to entertain and cook phenomenal meals for friends and family.

He played tennis 3 times a week until he was almost 95 and would go to the gym after each game; played 9 holes of golf weekly as well.

He golfed, played tennis, joined the bowling league, he whittled, made furniture in his own workshop. He was an amazing dog trainer, he played multiple instruments: piano, trumpet, saxophone, windpipes, and flute, and loved his guitar the most. He sang at parties with a keyboard and was hired at local restaurants – it was pure joy for him.

In 2005, in Timber Pines, he met the love of his life, Camille Axelson. Initially, neither wanted to meet the other, but, once they did they were inseparable. They shared so many memorable times together and the love they shared was so close and so admired and so eternal. They loved each other and they loved their life together in Timber Pines. They shared their love for their two dogs, Poochie, (deceased) and Pepe (who brought so many smiles and good times to them). In the summertime, they would stay in Westbrook, CT where he would continue playing and singing to locals and the many friends he acquired. They loved cruises and vacations and time spent with family and friends.

John was ever so proud of his family: his four children, his seven grandchildren, and his two great-grandchildren. He loved to enjoy time with them when he could, see photos when he could not, hear their stories, and make loving memories. He will be missed by all – his jokes, his smile, that incredible grin, his generosity and sense of humor, his hair, his ability to master anything he put his mind to, his warmth, even his stubbornness, but most of all his love for all of us.

John was predeceased by Nicholas (Nick) J.P. Basile, his son; Francis (Frankie) Barbiero his nephew; Mary Recine his sister; Anna Sanserverino Vecchio his mother; Nicholas Basile his father; Fay (Philomena) Basile his former wife; Dolli (Dorothy) Pavia his former fiancé; and Three older Brothers & Two older Sisters.

He is survived by Michael (& Deb) Basile – son; John P. (& Liza) Basile Jr. – son; Sandy (& John) Uliano – daughter; Mary Ann Recine (& Tony Dytko) – niece; Lucrezia (Grace) Odice – sister; Camille Axelson – life partner; Cindy (Cynthia) Basile – former wife; Mason Basile – grandson; Andrew Basile – grandson; Michael Basile II – grandson; Taylor (& Nicholas) Hatcher – granddaughter; Tiffany (& Bobby) Palmieri – granddaughter; Jessica Joudy – granddaughter; Nicole Basile (& Ray Blanar) – granddaughter; Bryce Maniscalco – great-grandson and Bexley Rae Blanar – great-granddaughter and of course, last but not least, his beloved dog, Pepe.

Services will be held at Brewer & Sons Funeral Home at 4450 Commercial Way on Monday, June 10th at 11 am.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the “TP Medical Equipment Lending Program, Inc.” at 8096 Sugarbush Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34606.