Cover photo for Sarah Catherine Lee  Bass's Obituary
Sarah Catherine Lee  Bass Profile Photo
1931 Sarah Catherine 2022

Sarah Catherine Lee Bass

December 11, 1931 — May 24, 2022

Four Oaks, NC: Mrs. Catherine Lee Bass, of Bass Road passed away on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at BellaRose Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Garner at age 90. Funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Mill Creek Christian Church in Four Oaks. Officiating will be Revs. Jessica Braxton and Eric Moore. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. 

Mrs. Bass was born December 11, 1931 in the Blackmon’s Crossroads community of Johnston County to the late Elder Junius B. (Doon) Lee and Susan Hollowell Lee. She attended Four Oaks School 

and upon graduating with honors in 1950, went on to further her education at Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray School of Medicine earning a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Lab Technology. Catherine began her medical profession at Sampson County Memorial Hospital and while employed there she married James Lee Bass of Bentonville and simultaneously stepped directly into motherhood of his two small children. They welcomed a child of their union two years later at which time she left public work until joining the staff of Clinton Medical Clinic in 1971. Less than ten years later she was needed at home to take care of James’ elderly parents. After their passing she returned to work in the lab at Newton Grove Medical Center until her retirement in 2001. 

Catherine was a devoted mother and an excellent cook. Her cakes were highly sought after and brought top dollar at fund-raising auctions for both the Bentonville Volunteer Fire Dept. and Mill Creek Christian Church. She and James Lee were pillars of the Bentonville community as they managed the Bass Family Farm, recognized as a North Carolina Century Farm with over 200 years of continuous farming. Their garden filled their freezers and fed many of their neighbors. Even as she worked publicly, no pea was left unpicked as she often rose at the crack of dawn to attend the garden before going to work, only to return to it when she returned home in the evening. Sausage, ham and “pigtails” too were always shared with others after the annual hog killing. Their children joined in the work and family time was often spent while shelling all those peas! Mama Cat was a woman in constant motion working from the moment her feet hit the floor till she laid down at night well after everyone else had gone to sleep. She worked tirelessly and never complained. She was devoted to her husband and loved her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren who “warmed her heart.” She was often called on for medical advice and was always available and never too busy to help if she could. Never wanting to be noticed or recognized for her contribution but always a vital behind the scenes force to any community or church activities. She will be missed by many, and was loved by all. 

In addition to her parents, Mrs. Bass was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, James Lee Bass, son-in-law Bill Harmon, and all of her siblings: Lois, Everette, Bernice, J.B.II, and Cyrus Lee and Dorothy (Dot) Lee Nelson. 

Survivors include her son, Roger Bass (Kathy) of Bentonville; daughters, Karen Bossie (Alan) of Willow Spring and Janet Harmon (Mark Wilson) of Raleigh; grandchildren: Brian Pope (Leigh Anne), Michael Pope (Amy), Lauren Roelofs (Ben), Keith Eason (Misty), Blair Harmon, Rhianna Hofmeister (Dan), Jessica Wilson, Alex Wilson; great grandchildren; Lillie, Tanner, Grayson, Kyleigh, William, Lance, Joshua, Makenzie, Jaylin, Braiden, Ryker, Adelynn, and many nieces & nephews. 

With deep gratitude our family acknowledges the tender individuals who lovingly cared for Mama over the last several years both at home and during her stay at BellaRose. We know that you will miss her too!

Family will receive friends from 6:00PM to 8:00PM on Friday, May 27, 2022 at Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Benson. 

Flowers are welcomed; however, memorials may be made to Mill Creek Christian Church, 747 Mill Creek Church Road Four Oaks, NC 27524.

The family appreciates your thoughts and prayers at this time.

Online condolences may be expressed at


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, May 27, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Rose & Graham Funeral Home, Benson

301 W Main St, Benson, NC 27504

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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