Doris C. Basel, 97, Dartmouth

Posted 5/10/21

Doris C. (Normandeau) Basel, 97, of Dartmouth, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at Alden Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.  She was the wife of the late Fredric C. …

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Doris C. Basel, 97, Dartmouth


Doris C. (Normandeau) Basel, 97, of Dartmouth, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at Alden Court Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.  She was the wife of the late Fredric C. Basel Jr. with whom she shared 38 wonderful years of marriage.       

Mrs. Basel was born in New Bedford, the middle child of the late Arthur J. and Antoinette (Remillard) Normandeau.  She was predeceased by her siblings, Jack Normandeau, Pauline Gauthier, Evelyn Burke, and Don Normandeau.

Survivors include her three sons, Peter Fontaine and his wife Tanya of North Carolina; Paul Fontaine and his wife Annamarie of Florida, and Michael Basel of Colorado; four daughters, Charlene Setzer of Fall River, Christine Weiler and her husband Ken of Michigan, Marie Fontaine of Westport, and Marilyn Basel of Michigan; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many special nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Basel grew up in New Bedford and had happy memories of summers at their family cottage on Sconticut Neck until the hurricane of 1938 leveled the cottage.  She married Air Force pilot Charles Fontaine and raised a family while living in many locations – some exotic (Japan) and some not (Mississippi).  The marriage ended, but the Fontaine family remained close.  Later Doris met and married the love of her life, Fred Basel; they lived in Texas and the Midwest before moving to Dartmouth to be closer to her family. 

Mrs. Basel had many interests, always preferring to be busy. She was an accomplished seamstress and kept up with the latest fashions.  A voracious reader, Mrs. Basel continued to learn throughout her life.  Doris was a devoted and fearless advocate for her children.  When her children grew older, she worked as an executive secretary.  

Mrs. Basel enjoyed cooking, and frequently tried complex recipes – especially desserts – for the challenge.  Doris expressed her artistic talent through oil painting and stained-glass creations.  She and Fred loved music and were regular attendees of symphony orchestra performances in their communities.  Mrs. Basel exercised her entire life – walking in her neighborhood or nature trails, a fitness class at Dartmouth Senior Center where she made friends and shared camaraderie, or snowshoeing with Fred in New Hampshire well into her 80’s.  Doris loved animals and cherished her pet cat.  More than anything else, Mrs. Basel valued her family.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial, to which relatives and friends are invited, will be Friday, May 14, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Theresa Church, 265 Stafford Road in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Interment at National Cemetery in Bourne will be private.  In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates memorial donations made to the charity of your choice. 

Arrangements are under the direction of Potter Funeral Home, 81 Reed Road, Westport.

To sign the online guestbook, please visit

The family of Mrs. Basel extends a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Autumn Glen Assisted Living, where Doris resided during the last years of her life.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.