Guam Special Olympics Founder, Delfina M. Basa, Has Died


San Diego, CA, August 27, 2014:  Delfina M. Basa, longtime advocate for children with special needs passed away peacefully at her son’s home in San Diego, California, on August 17, 2014, at the age of 81.


As an educator, Mrs. Basa recognized the benefits and importance that a Special Olympics program would provide for the children in Guam with special needs, and she worked tirelessly to establish a Special Olympics chapter (1977), to encourage and assist children with disabilities.  Several successful Guam Special Olympics programs were conducted in Guam under her direction.

In the years 1977 and through 1983, she was recognized for numerous awards: 1977 – Guam’s Outstanding Woman of the Year for providing sports competition for the mentally disabled; 1976 through 1980 won awards for providing sports competition for the disabled island-wide, presented by Senator Edward Kennedy, President of the Joseph F. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation, Washington, DC; Outstanding Filipino Overseas, and outstanding volunteer awarded by the Department of Human Services, Washington, DC.  Mrs. Basa was chairperson for the Protection and Advocacy Office, and first citizen advocate for the Marianas Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC).

She was an active civic leader in many local associations:  Board Member, Guma Mami and MARC; the Filipino Community of Guam; American Red Cross; Western Pacific Association of the Disabled; and the Admiral Nimitz Golf Club.

Affectionately known to family and friends as “Del” and “Mrs. B”, she is predeceased by her husband, Tomas Basa, four children (spouse): Joanne (Jace) Matteucci, Deborah (William) Phillips, Michael (Eleanor) Basa, and Thomas (Jen) Basa; 6 grandchildren:  Rose Matteucci, Gino Matteucci, Eric (Michele) Phillips, Ellie Basa, Emma Basa and Chase Basa; and 1 great grandson, William Phillips.

A private family service was held in San Diego, California, on August 22nd.  Her last request was to have her remains scattered at sea with her husband’s.