Iris H. Basta

Iris H. Basta, age 75, died on April 5th, 2018 in Boise, Idaho of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Iris was born in Beach, N.D. to Eleanor Ueckert and Bill Hasselstrom. After graduating as the Sentinel Butte High School valedictorian in 1961, Iris landed a job in Glendive as an attorney’s assistant where she met and married Dan Basta. They had two children, but divorced in 1970. Iris and her two children left eastern Montana for Helena in 1975, where she was able to attend Carroll College. She then went on to graduate from the University of Montana (magna cum laude) in 1992 with her Juris Doctor. Iris was a successful attorney at Jackson Murdo and Grant, PC in Helena. In 1997 Iris became a partner at the law firm until her retirement in 2011.

The farm Iris grew up on provided the prototype for all the things that Iris ever loved and honored, including her beloved cats, her affair with nature, flowers, water, light and all beauty, her empathy and compassion for animals, her love of the land, her love of open space and old houses, her love of watching and studying clouds, ants, people.

Iris was born with a good mind, a natural curiosity about how things worked and a busy imagination. Iris read voraciously, seeing books as a great way to improve her mind beyond the confines and limits that surrounded her. She was interested in what people thought, and why, and spent many hours in discussion and debate.

Iris is survived by her daughter, Connie (Paul) Griffin of Boise, Idaho; her son, Ron (Danielle) Basta of Milford, N.H.; three grandchildren, Calvin, Meredith and Lauren; her grandnephew, Austin of Butte; nephew, Steven (Nancy) King and children of Las Vegas, Nev.; half-brother, Alan (Elizabeth) Schwartz, resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

Iris was preceded in death by her father in 1971; her stepfather in 1968; her mother in 2009; and her step-mother in 2008; beloved sister, Karin E. King in 2008; and niece, Susan K. King in 2017.

Also surviving her are those friends who gave Iris their unfailing humor, life-affirming love, their laughter, philosophy and many badly-needed hugs. Included among them are, since 1950, Donna Lardy Latka of Glendive with whom she began her “Moon River” adventure, later joined by Donna’s husband, Paul; since 1957, Patsy Roberts Renz of Moffit, N.D., a “farm sister under the skin;” since 1968, Billie Haag of Glendive, a role model whose kindness and calm gave her courage to go on; since 1972, Lois South of Moreno Valley, Calif., with whom she laughed, sang and cried; since 1975, Betty and Mel Humphrey of Helena, the world’s best neighbors and friends; since 1986, David L. Jackson of Helena, her philosophical and spiritual Brother; since 1989, Coleen Magera, her kind and wise Friend and Gracious Earth Mother Supreme, as well as Coleen’s husband Richard, who brought along his own honesty and caring, of Polson.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Walk to End Alzheimer’s at

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