In Memoriam: Mary Elizabeth Phelps Bass, CRNA (1925-2019)

  • Oct 7, 2019

Mary Elizabeth Bass, CRNAMary Elizabeth “Betty” Bass passed away on Oct. 1, 2019, at the age of 94.

She was born Sept. 13, 1925, in Maggie Valley to Wylma Campbell and John W. Phelps, the oldest of four children.

Upon graduation from high school, she worked in a civil service position as a check writer for the Army Fifth Corp Area Finance Department in Columbus, Ohio. 

At the beginning of WWII, Betty enrolled in the Cadet Nursing Program and received her training at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C., where she became a registered nurse.

She later taught in the Licensed Practical Nurses School at Cape Fear Community College. Then, after furthering her education, Betty became a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

She saw duty in several hospitals throughout her career including Haywood Community Hospital in Waynesville; New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington and SurgCare Hospital, also in Wilmington. She finally retired from the profession she loved at age 82.

Among her other loves were her Bichon Frise Dinah, dancing, making stained glass figures and reading. Betty was also a long-time member of St. Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church, Wilmington. 

Preceding her in death were her parents, her beloved husband Robert D. Bass, her daughter-in-law Nancy Case, brother Robert W. Phelps and his wife Dorothy and an infant brother. She is survived by her sister, Jane Beaver of Maggie Valley; and four children: Robert Case of Raleigh, Linda Case of Leland, Jack Case of Maggie Valley and Billy Case of Maggie Valley.

Other survivors include: two grandsons, Willie Case, Waynesville; and Jeremy Case, Maggie Valley; and a granddaughter, Michele Quick of Sanford, Florida, multiple nieces and nephews and great-grandchildren.

She is also survived by special people in her life: Pam Halsall, Karen Case and Luna Godwin. The family would like to thank the Eldercare staff and aides as well as the staff at Lower Cape Fear Hospice for their excellent care and support.

A graveside service will be held at Oleander Memorial Gardens on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401-7335. Condolences may be shared at