Ernie Bass, Stockton Mentor and Peacekeeper, Dies after Battle with Cancer

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STOCKTON -- Ernie Bass Sr. is remembered by loved ones and city leaders as a tireless public servant who lost his battle to cancer Monday.

Before many football players touched the green at Edison High School they played as a South Stockton Viking led by then-President Bass.

"Peacekeeper, a father to a lot of young men that didn’t have one," said Bass' wife, Berniece.

He was a legend, his family says, and a Stockton leader. For decades he was a football coach, a mentor and a pastor for the city.

"I feel like I’m a better leader because I met someone like him and saw the way he led. But led without cameras, without a lot of attention but made such a deep impact," said Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.

"My dad, he always fought for what was right and what was respectable for everybody," said Ernest Bass Jr.

A true leader to many, especially his nephew, Roscoe Brown.

"I was one of them kids out there on the streets back and forth, school, streets, and Ernie changed my life," Brown said.

Brown says his uncle helped him shift his focus.

"Helped me open up that track program and I never looked back ever since," he said.

His family says Bass was an inspiration to many, up until he could no longer walk.

"His number one thing was each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. And that’s what he did. He did it to the fullest," Berniece Bass said.

Right before Bass died, he spoke with each of his loved ones, imparting wisdom and sharing his last wishes for each of them.

Now, Brown will continue his uncle’s legacy as the new president of the Vikings.

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