Fort Worth loses two icons in two days

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by TERESA WOODARD

wfaa.com

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 1:34 AM

FORT WORTH –– They are part of the very fabric of Fort Worth: To lose Van Cliburn Wednesday and Nancy Lee Bass Thursday is uncanny.

"It's very tough," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. "I mean our hearts are very heavy.  Everybody's thinking about the impact they made on our community."

That impact is immeasurable, and in the Bass family's case, might not ever be fully known, publicly at least.  They gave to museums, schools, hospitals, gardens, and the arts.  They gave millions, and truly shaped history.

"That family, and the generations to come," said Price, "they are probably our most philanthropic and instrumental family."

The Bass name is everywhere in Fort Worth. 

"It was one of the biggest honors this facility had when the Bass family chose to put Nancy Lee's name on the exterior of the building," said Pat Riley, Executive Director of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.  "She had such a spirit about her. I mean she really exemplified the type of woman honored in the museum."

Fort Worth's performance hall bears the Bass name, because of Van Cliburn. The world class pianist suggested the world class facility become Bass hall.

"Fort Wort his known for its museums, culture, the arts, and both Van Cliburn and Mrs. Bass and her family have touched each and every area of that," said Price. 

Her sentiments were echoed by the President of the Museum of Science and History, Van Romans.  The school at the museum also bears Nancy Lee Bass's name.

"These people have made such a huge contribution to Fort Worth and its legacy. We have a responsibility to keep those legacies in tact and moving forward," said Romans.

Email twoodard@wfaa.com

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