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Vigil honors veteran who died on GRTC bus: 'There's not words'

'Funny, driven and an all-out good person'
Posted at 12:35 AM, Sep 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-20 00:40:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Family and friends held a vigil Saturday to honor Air Force Sergeant Raymond Bass not far from where he died in Richmond.

The group released balloons and shared memories about the 66-year-old, who had a heart attack while on board a GRTC bus last week and was robbed while he was unconscious.

Renee Scott, Bass' common-law wife, said the unexpected loss has not been easy.

"There's not words that can express how I feel," Scott reflected. "It's just a time healing thing."

The widow said she is flooded with positive memories and remembers her husband as a “funny, driven and an all-out good person."

Scott thanked Richmond Police, EMS crews and GRTC staffers for their aid in the case.

Robbery suspect turns himself in as family grieves for veteran who died on GRTC bus

Video from a GRTC bus showed 20-year-old Damontea Chappell rifling through Bass' wallet, seconds after he died.

He was taking the bus to McGuire VA Medical Center for an appointment the morning of Sept. 10.

"Like most men, he kinda’ wanted to keep the health thing hidden so we didn't worry and I think it's why the sudden death has hit us so hard," his niece, Cassandra Bass, said in an interview Wednesday.

Bass was an Air Force mechanic who kept planes and helicopters maintained during his enlistment.

"My dad is deceased, so he was like a dad to me,” Bass said about her late uncle. “A very devoted family man, he'd do anything for his loved ones."

Bass was laid to rest with military honors Tuesday in his hometown of Clarkesville, Virginia.

Chappell turned himself into RPD on Wednesday and is being held without bond.