Randi (McBride) Bassett.

By Gina McBride 

Randi Jean Bassett was born at the old Providence Hospital in Anchorage in July 1951, to parents Gene and Bonnie McBride. She passed away at home in Wasilla on Jan. 19, 2024. 

At the time of Mickey’s birth, Gene was working on the Alaska Railroad and was known as “Mac.” His co-workers often asked how “Little Mickey” was doing, and for many years, the nickname of “Mickey” stuck! The new family’s first home was a Quonset on Muldoon Road. Two more daughters were born in the next seven years. 

In 1960, Gene struck up a conversation with Smitty, a bush pilot operating Cordova Air Service. Gene told Smitty he was looking to move out of Anchorage to a small family friendly community to raise his three daughters. After more conversation, Smitty offered him the position of running the Cordova airport. Exactly what Gene was looking for, he accepted the offer by Merle “Mudhole” Smith, working for him for several years. 

The family was at once embraced by the town, and the three girls became part of “Irene’s kids.” Mickey enjoyed growing up in Cordova and made several lifelong friends.  

Upon graduation from CHS in 1969, Mickey moved to Anchorage and was able to reconnect with our mother. In 1971, she married Richard Bassett, a soldier stationed at Fort Richardson. Over the next several years, they had three children and moved to Palmer in 1979. Soon after, she went to work for Matanuska Telephone Association (MTA), and over her 20 year-career, worked her way up from trouble shooter to MTA’s first female engineer. As a field engineer, she loved exploring remote areas, surveying sites for telephone lines. 

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Mickey really enjoyed the all-school reunions and being able to connect with so many friends, including Diana Brown, Linda Wilson, Hallie Green, Trudy Honkola, Rhonda Sleighter and many more. The stories she told! 

In 2006, Mickey retired from MTA to spend time with her grandchildren. She was very fortunate that most of her immediate family lived in the Mat-Su Valley. 

Her ashes will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean near Seaside, Oregon where her mother’s ashes were scattered 27 years ago.  

Mickey had such a big, warm heart; she will be missed by all who knew her. Mickey is survived by her husband Richard; three children Brian, Mark, and Kari; three grandchildren Jordan Bassett, Jack Fish and Lee Fish; two sisters Gina (John) and Jackie; and close family friend Karen Cass. To contact the family, email [email protected]

This obituary originally ran in the Feb. 9 issue of The Cordova Times.

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