Michael Melvyn Bassman died Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease a few days before his 88th birthday.

He was born in Boston to Fannie and David Bassman. The family came to California when Michael was in his teens. He graduated from UCLA and went into the building business.

Michael met his wife, Theda, on a blind date, and they were married the following year. They have been married 39 years.

Michael became enamored with the Native American arts and crafts in which Theda was working and writing books, and he worked in that venue from then on.

He is survived by his wife, Theda Bassman of Idyllwild; a daughter, Dr. Leslie Newman and son-in-law Harold Trubo, both of Moreno Valley; a stepson, Gary Newman, and daughter-in-law, Chena Newman, both of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Compassion and Choices, P.O. Box 101810, Denver, CO 80250, or at www.compassionandchoices.org.