R.Gordon Basinger

lyme deaths

R.Gordon Basinger

was born July 11, 1940. He was an esteemed member of the aviation industry for over 30 years, president first of Gordon Aviation sales and then since 1979, president of Phase Two, Inc. Prior to that, among other professions, he was an aircraft mechanic, avionics technician, flight instructor, and commercial pilot for Ozark Airlines. He was also accomplished in athletics, certified scuba diver, formidable racquet ball player, and 4th degree black belt and instructor in Shido-kan Shorin-ryu Karate. Basinger Sensei’s longtime illness began in the 1960s with Lyme Disease. Since Lyme Disease had not yet even been named or discovered at that time, he went untreated. He even checked into Mayo Clinic in the 1970s attempting to understand his symptoms, to no avail.

By the time he was finally diagnosed and treatment was available, the disease had advanced beyond the possibility of a cure. His immune system became more and more severely compromised and, therefore, paved the way for cancer which was diagnosed in 1997. He underwent various procedures and two years of chemo‑therapy, resulting in remission. In May, 2002, his cancer returned and had metastasized (spread). After several months of additional chemotherapy and much excruciating pain, on December 12th he was told he had but a few weeks to live. He still never gave up hope, faith or his commitment to battle illness. The evening before he died he said to his wife, “They don’t think I can, but I’m going to beat this!” He was courageous, optimistic and determined to the end, which is no surprise to those who knew and admired this exceptional man. He will be painfully missed.

Basinger died December 27, 2002 of complications from bone cancer, secondary to Lyme disease.

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