“If it is to be, it is up to me.”

That was Phyllis Bass’ favorite expression, according to Edna Wagner, executive director of the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum.

Bass died Oct. 4 at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She was 87 years old.

As one of the founding members of the cultural center, Bass touched many lives, Wagner said.

“She had a passion for history and a passion for people and where they came from,” Wagner said. “She had a great love for the community and always wanted to share that with someone.”

Wagner said Bass was a “walking encyclopedia of history.”

She said Bass was instrumental in researching and collecting many artifacts that are now in the cultural center.

Bass was born in Iola, Kansas, but moved to Leavenworth in the mid-1980s. She was an office worker for the Department of the Army on Fort Leavenworth.

Wagner said Bass was heavily involved in the coordination and development of the Buffalo Soldier monument on Fort Leavenworth in the early 1990s.

Bass had been involved at the cultural center since 1992. She was the executive director of the cultural center for 19 years. She retired about four years ago.

Wagner said Bass was a leader in developing a tutoring program at the cultural center.

“She touched a lot of lives,” Wagner said.

There will be a visitation from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. A funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bethel AME Church. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery in Iola, Kansas.

Family and friends are invited to visit with the Bass family at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Bethel AME Church.

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