Cover photo for Vilma Bass's Obituary
1932 Vilma 2022

Vilma Bass

January 31, 1932 — September 18, 2022


On Sunday, September 18, 2022, Vilma Norma Desai Bass, beautiful mother of six, grandmother of eleven, and great-grandmother of nineteen, passed peacefully from this life into the loving arms of our Lord and Savior. Vilma was born on January 31, 1932, in Colón, Republic of Panama, to Cassandra and Bhula Desai. She was deeply loved and will always be dearly missed.

Vilma was a woman of strong faith who cherished her family and valued her many friendships. As a mother, she was a true friend and close confidant. She was a loving, kind, and caring person whose smile and laughter were infectious. Along with her compassionate spirit, she was known equally for her strong-willed, feisty character and her humorous nature. Her lively, outgoing personality shined brightest when she was with her family.

Her first pride and joy were that of her children and grandchildren. The second was for her beloved homeland, the Republic of Panama. In 1978, she attained her United States citizenship.

At an early age, Vilma began sewing lessons and dreamed of one day becoming a seamstress. In 1953 at the age of 21, she earned a degree in home economics from the Abel Bravo College in the Providence of Colón. She was a creative individual. Her interests included sewing, arts and crafts, collecting dolls, cake decorating, and cooking. One of her passions was giving gifts and making gifts for her great-grandchildren, from baby blankets to hair clips and accessories. She was also an avid music lover and enjoyed taking the opportunity to dance whenever it presented itself.

Vilma was preceded in death by her father, mother, brother Emerson Desai, sister Shirley Desai, son-in-law Emery Kertesz III, and son-in-law Jose Cumba Sr.

Those left to honor her memory and legacy are her sister Elsie Garnsey; six children, daughter Sheila Kertesz;  son Robert Bass and wife Cheryl; daughter Vicky Cumba; daughter Pam Ward; daughter Jerri Lynn Schooley and husband Brian; and son Gary Wayne Bass and wife Martha;  grandson Austin Kertesz and wife Arielle; grandson Joseph Kertesz; grandson Alex Bass and wife Dawn; grandson Andy Bass and wife Erin; grandson Josh Bass and wife Lynn; grandson Jose Cumba Jr. and wife Brandy; grandson Carlos Cumba and wife Shannon; granddaughter Linley Ward; granddaughter Madison Ward; granddaughter Courtney Schooley and grandson Cameron Schooley; precious great-grandchildren Graham Kertesz, Georgia Kertesz, Gretchen Kertesz, Braden Bass, Kayla Bass, Lillie Bass, Sadie Bass, Cooper Bass, Cason Bass, Ethan Bass, Addison Bass, Brooklyn Bass, Joslyn Bass, Zoe Bass, Bella Cumba, Jose Cumba III, Jolene Cumba, Adia Cumba, and Olivia Cumba.

A funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2903 E Rancier Ave, Killeen, Texas, at 10:00 AM. Friends and family can send flower arrangements to Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Temple, Texas. However, the family prefers donations in Vilma's honor to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (, her charity of choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vilma Bass, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Starts at 10:00am (Central time)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

2903 E Rancier Ave, Killeen, TX 76543

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