CDR Gregory Scott Basta (Callsign Klondike) passed away on January 11, 2023, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He was 38 years young living with his family in Leonardtown, MD.
He is survived by his wife of 13 years, Jenn; his two boys Max and Nate; his father Ted Basta and step mother Olga Frias-Basta of Brookfield, IL; his brother Mitch Basta of Bolingbrook, IL; his brother- and sister-in-laws Josh Hager (Madison) of Lisle, IL and Jon Hager (Toni) of Greensboro, NC; and his in-laws, John and Dawn Hager of Salem, SC. He is preceded in death by his mother Susan Basta.
Greg was born on April 17, 1984, in Proviso Township, IL to Thaddeus Mark Basta and the late Susan Ann (Encher) Basta. At an early age, Greg fell in love with airplanes and wanted nothing more than to be a Naval Aviator. He most certainly had the attitude and demeanor for this role in life as he was never short of self-confidence, swagger, and Old Spice Pomade (if you know, you know). Greg pursued his dream of flying by attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign under the Navy ROTC program, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Human Factors, and formally commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 2006. Following graduation, he flew (yup, pun intended) through the Navy flight syllabus and was eventually assigned to the carrier-based E-2 Hawkeye. It was no F-14 Tomcat, Greg's favorite aircraft, but nevertheless he excelled at piloting the E-2C while assigned to the VAW-120 Greyhawks and VAW-126 Seahawks and eventually the E-2D while assigned to the VX Pioneers. He wrapped his active-duty time in 2017 and proceeded to take on a new, completely foreign job that of an E-2D pilot for the government contractor KBR. Greg also transitioned to the Naval Reserves and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during this time.
In his private life, Greg was an avid Chicago Bears fan even when they stunk, which was pretty much all the time, and he absolutely loved watching the Chicago Blackhawks play, having grown up during their formidable Stanley Cup years. He was strong with the Catholic force, which he loved to employ to teach his Catholic convert (formally heathen) wife and share his love of faith with his two boys. Greg placed a large emphasis on family. He loved Jenn dearly and enjoyed making her laugh at all his ridiculous movie quotes and terrible dad jokes. His son's, Max and Nate, were his pride and joy and he loved nothing more than playing video games (and no he never let them win), helping them build model airplanes and ships, and talking shop with them about all things flying. Greg and Max could routinely be found discussing historical events as well as everything hockey. He loved cheering Max on as played hockey games and especially enjoyed Max's fierce desire to protect his teammates as a defenseman. Greg and Nate constantly enjoyed philosophical discussions about the meaning of life, Bubble Guppies, and whatever random thought rolled through Nate's head that second. He loved Nate's inquisitive spirit and his compassionate personality. Both boys were deeply loved by their father.
The family will receive friends on Monday, January 23, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with Prayers officiated by Father Drew Royals at 7:00 p.m. at Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. There will be Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Reverend Ryan Braam at 10:00 a.m. at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church, 43972 St. John's Road, Hollywood, MD 20636.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Mary's Hospice, P.O. Box 628, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.