Updated 11:55 a.m. April 1
Members of The Woodlands Township board of directors and other community figures reacted this week to news that former board member Mike Bass died March 30, remembering his work on the board and area organizations such as The Woodlands Arts Council.
Matt Beasley, Montgomery County justice of the peace, Precinct 3, confirmed Bass died March 30, and the cause of death was still under investigation as of March 31.
A retired business consultant, Bass previously served as executive director of The Woodlands Arts Council and served on The Woodlands Township board of directors in Position 2 from 2012-16.
Board of directors Chair Gordy Bunch remembered Bass as an intense worker with strong opinions.
"Mike and I were both first elected to The Woodlands Township Board of Directors in May 2012,” Bunch said. “Mike brought an intensity to our board and was always well-prepared to debate his positions. Mike was instrumental in creating the transportation task force at a time the township was without transportation staff. His efforts will live on with the South County Mobility Plan that established short- and long-term needs for our region.”
Bunch said Bass remained active in the community after his time on the board. At last week’s teleconference board of directors meeting on March 25, Bass was one of several callers who spoke during the public comment section.
“Mike stayed engaged after his time on our board and was never shy to share his opinion,” Bunch said. “I was saddened to hear of his passing this morning. Michelle and I send our prayers to Georgie and the entire Bass family."
Director Ann Snyder also worked with Bass as a board member.
“I was truly saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Bass, and my heart goes out to his wife, Georgie, his children and grandchildren,” Snyder said.
Snyder said she remembered Bass as a highly intelligent and curious individual.
“Mike was one of the most intelligent individuals that I knew,” Snyder said. “His convictions and perseverance for what he believed was right was unwavering. Mike never stopped researching until he found the answer to any question posed. He loved our hometown ... and gave his heart and soul to the preservation of its foundation. We always had tremendous discussion and sometimes varied viewpoints but always came to mutual appreciation of each other’s opinions. During his tenure on The Woodlands Township board of directors, Mike’s dedication and commitment were unparalleled.”
Snyder also worked with Bass on The Woodlands Arts Council board of directors.
“His involvement for many years on the arts board was because of his belief in the intrinsic value of the arts and its importance to not only The Woodlands but to society itself,” Snyder said. “Right now, and I know into the future, I will miss Mike Bass and will forever appreciate his leadership and passion for The Woodlands.”
J.J. Hollie, president of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, remembered Bass as an active member of the community and a leader.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Bass,” Hollie said. “Mike will be remembered as a tireless advocate for The Woodlands and a man who gave much of his time to better the community. I will always remember Mike as a thoughtful leader who gave of himself to support the chamber, regularly attending meetings on important subjects that affected the entire region, and devoted a significant amount of time to share his thoughts and concerns. He was always willing to provide a listening ear and provide insightful comments. He will be missed.”
Amy Lecocq, who worked with Bass on the Sterling Ridge Village Association board, said she admired his understanding of local issues and dedication to the community.
"I had the privilege to work with Mike on Village Association issues, The Woodlands Arts Council and on township issues like incorporation and creating a performing arts center," Lecocq said. "Mike did his homework and was willing to listen to those who challenged him, assuming they had done their homework. There are very few people, if any, who studied and understood incorporation as well as Mike, and I treasured our discussions on the issue. I admired his dedication to this community and his huge commitment to making it the best we can be. And yet, nothing was more important to him than Georgie, his family and his labs. My heart is with them during these tough days and weeks."
Walt Lisiewski, who chairs the township's Development Standards Committee, said Bass had called him for a meeting when Lisiewski first ran for a seat on the board to learn about his qualifications and get to know him.
"To me Mike Bass was a legend in The Woodlands politics who did his homework with a deep care for his community," Lisiewski said. "He was a person I looked to for counsel a lot when I ran for the township board and was one of those leaders who could agree to disagree. He may not always concur with your conclusion but respected it."
Cindy Hardin, who worked with him on The Woodlands Arts Council, remembered Bass' devotion to the arts and projects such as creating a performing arts center.
"I first met Mike in a Pilates class," Hardin said. "Mike was a Renaissance man, and at times, it was hard concentrating on exercise as we enjoyed talking about cooking, travel and especially art. At the time, I was serving on The Woodlands Arts Council, and I knew what an asset Mike would be to our organization."