Howard G. BassettHoward G. Bassett, 86, of County Road 142, Interlaken, passed away quietly at home on Sunday, December 23, 2012, after a period of declining health.

Howard, son of Howard W. and Helen Huff Bassett, was a lifelong resident of Interlaken, beginning his career in farming early due to his father's death when Howard was nine. He helped his mother raise his four younger siblings and carried on with the dairy and farming on the home place on Lodi Road.  He married Helen Hausner in 1949 and she became a full partner in all the farm work.  Their daughter, Valerie, was born in 1951, and was almost always to be found around the barn with the calves, horses, and cats.

After selling the family farm, they moved to Helen's family farm on County Road 142 in 1955. Over the next few decades, they continued to expand and Howard and Helen soon had most of their acreage in corn and were selling large amounts on the ear.  But Howard was not satisfied and knew that he could shell, dry, and store large amounts of corn, awaiting better market conditions. His successes in this, something that had previously been seen as impossible in this region, proved him to be a leader in corn production and marketing.  Another myth he proved to be wrong was continuous corn, year after year, without rotation.  His methods were studied and copied.  His CB handle, "Corn King", was well-earned.

During this time, the Quarter Horse industry was growing and Howard was very proud that he brought into New York one of the first registered Quarter Horses and he and Helen were founding members of Empire State Quarter Horse Association, which exists to this day.  They were also founders of the Quarter Horse Racing Association of NYS and were race officials during the racing season in Syracuse. They are life members of the American Quarter Horse Association and long-standing members of Lake Country Horsemen's Association. Howard was a well-known show judge and traveled throughout the northeast and Canada.  His own horses did well in the show ring, accumulating many high-point and year-end awards for three generations of his family. His horses were well-trained and well-mannered, a credit to his endless patience and expertise.  He was never happier than when he had a horse to work with. Howard was active in numerous other ag-related organizations, including Cornell Cooperative Extension, Agway, and 4-H.

Howard is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen (Hausner); his daughter, Valerie Bassett (Don Kenyon) of Interlaken; his granddaughters, Heather Wilkins Androlevich (Stephen) of Enterprise, Alabama and Meredith Wilkins of Horseheads; two great-granddaughters, Kendall and Kadence Androlevich of Enterprise, Alabama; three brothers, Charles (Betty Lou) of Delmar; Robert (Jeri) of Mathews, North Carolina; and Daniel (Muriel) of Utica; one sister, Frances Hostetter (Edwin) of Toledo, Ohio;  and by Helen's sister-in-law, Thelma Hausner of Ithaca;  brother, Walter Hausner (Mary) of Geneva; and sister, Wanda Beardslee of Ithaca; 27 nieces and nephews; several cousins; and many friends.

The family will be present to receive friends from 1:00 to 3:00pm on Saturday, January 19, 2012 at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Trumansburg. A Memorial Service will immediately follow, at the funeral home, at 3:00pm with Pastor Ralph Selin officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks those who wish to make a contribution in Howard’s memory to kindly consider the Trumansburg Volunteer Fire Co., EMS, PO Box 418, Trumansburg, NY 14886.