Retired Command Sgt. Maj. John “Buddy” Bass, 87, of Van Buren passed away peacefully Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at his home. He was born April 27, 1930, in Deemer, Miss., to the late John and Clara Bass. A veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, he dedicated his life to serving his country for 30 years as an artilleryman. He received numerous medals to include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and Joint Service Commendation Medal. He served three tours in Germany, four tours in Vietnam, two tours in Korea and one tour in Alaska.

Buddy was a brave and loyal soldier. He was also a loving husband, father, and grandfather. His biggest passion besides serving his country and his family was traveling, gardening and bird watching. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Faye Bass, and a son, Randall Bass.

He is survived by his children, John L. Bass Jr., JoAnn Bass, Renie Davis, Lynette Staton and Sherri Bass; a sister, Martha Hill Dixon; seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Memorial service will be 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1, at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home Chapel with burial of ashes to follow at the Fort Smith National Cemetery with military honors under the direction of Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home of Van Buren.

Viewing and visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.Wednesday at Edwards Van-Alma Funeral Home, 4100 Alma Highway, Van Buren.

To place an online tribute, go to www.edwardsvan-alma.com.