Sam Bass

June 3, 1934 ~ August 29, 2022 (age 88)


The “Golden Voice” of the Treasure Valley that worked at KCID Radio for many years has signed off for the last time. No more will we read honest, in depth stories closing with simply by-line, “written by Sam Bass.”
    Malton Ivy Bass (named after his grandfathers), was known to us as Sam, and was born in the spring of 1934. However his  exact birth date is unknown. His adoption date was June 3, 1934, and that’s the date he always claimed as his true birthday. Sam was born in Native American territory near Ravia, Oklahoma. The family legend says he was born on top of a dam, as they didn’t make it to the hospital on time. Sam would joke that he was a “dam” kid. He was born to Army Captain Everett and Ruby Ella McAllister Harris. While still an infant he was adopted by William Neely Columbus Bass and Bessie Mae Seawright Bass. Bessie was his mother’s half sister. Sam’s mother became his aunt and his aunt became his mother. A lifelong devout Christian, Sam went home to be with Jesus at the age of eighty-eight on August 29, 2022.
Sam was the great, great, grandson of Cyrus Harris, who was the first governor, and ultimately a five term governor of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. Harris’ mother was Chickasaw and Cherokee Indian. Sam’s maternal great grandmother was Choctaw and had several chiefs in her heritage. Many of those chiefs were women.
When Sam was just a young boy, his parents left Oklahoma and settled in southern California. During this move, his parents lost touch with his real mother and he did not have a chance to reconnect with her until many, many years later in his life. 
An amazingly intelligent, and artistically gifted young man, Sam struggled to fit in while in high school. Determined to make a new life for himself, Sam joined the Navy within two weeks of his high school graduation at Brawley, CA in 1952. Sam enlisted for four years and after completing his training he was assigned to the destroyer USS Picking DD685 as a radioman third class. Sam served during the Korean Conflict. For part of his tour, his destroyer escorted aircraft carriers up and down the coast from Japan to Korea. In 1954 he was assigned to London where he continued working as a radioman. Sam fell in love with England, and even more with London. He loved the British people and he loved being in a centuries old famous town. 
He married an English girl, Sarah Bridge in London in 1955 and extended his enlistment to remain in London. Their daughter Sandra Leslie was born in 1956 at Londonderry, Northern Ireland, where he was assigned for the last year of his tour. Sam often said the only good thing to come out of Londonderry was his wonderful daughter. 
Sam was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1957. He went to work for Immigration and Naturalization in CA In 1959. He attended the Don Martin School of Radio and TV. Sam had hoped to work in California, but he went where the jobs were, and ended up at a radio station KFIR in North Bend, Oregon. Sam then moved on to KWRO in Coquille, Oregon and then KBND in Bend, Oregon. This is where Sam met the love of his life, Charlotte Elaine Falk. 
Sam married Charlotte 1964. Their son Michael Steven was
born in Bend, OR in 1965. They moved so that Sam could work at the radio station KSRV in Ontario, Oregon. Their daughter Helen Elaine was born in Ontario in 1967. 
In 1968 Sam and his family moved to Caldwell Idaho, where he would find his true home for the rest of his life. Sam worked at KCID Radio for the next thirty-three years. Sam had that special type of voice that made you stop and listen to what he had to say. The residents of the valley would refer to him as the man with the Golden Voice. Sam was an on-air personality, the news Director, and a trusted news reporter. In 1996 KCID radio was sold, and Sam went to work for the Idaho Press Tribune Newspaper in 1997 as the Caldwell city reporter. He retired in 2001. In 2002, Sam was presented with an award from the City of Caldwell showing appreciation for his dedication to his job, and more specifically, the fact that Sam devoted almost his entire adult life to promoting Caldwell, representing Caldwell, and reporting on Caldwell in a fair, honest, and truthful manner. This award was very special to Sam.
    Sam had many amazing gifts and talents that most people were unaware of. He professionally narrated many special church programs, but for years he also drew many of the posters and wall decorations for special church events. He made models off and on during his life, especially ships and planes. Already an unbelievable artist, Sam decided to learn to paint and took oil painting classes. He worked very hard at his craft, and became a master painter. His home is now graced with gorgeous paintings that the family has enjoyed for years. Sam taught himself to make leatherwork. He made his own gun holsters, rifle scabbards, hat bands, pistol belts and so one. He even made a mountain man shirt with all the fringes and indian beading on the shoulders. He taught himself to do beading and made a beaded leather scabbard for his rifle. Not only did he learn the craft of beadwork, he learned the symbology that is associated with native American languages, and often his beadwork would have a message for those who could read it. Sam taught himself how to make obsidian arrowheads by hand and would spend hours patiently chipping away slivers of rock until he had the perfect piece. He always loved tropical fish and cared for several tanks in his lifetime. He had worked as a volunteer police reserve, and could often be found supporting the local rodeo or high school ball game. Sam had an intense love of guns, and passed that love and respect for firearms down to his son and grandsons. 
    Sam Bass is survived by his wife, Charlotte, his daughter, Sandra and her husband Carter Taylor, his son, Michael and his wife Peggy Bass, and daughter, Helen and her husband Jeff Bateman. He had four grandchildren: Austin Bass, Kirsten Bass, Skyler Bateman, and Kelley Bateman. His one great grandchild is Novelle Bass, daughter of Austin Bass.

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September 6, 2022

4:00 PM
Caldwell First Baptist
221 E Linden
Caldwell, ID 83605

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