November 24, 2018

Start Time:

11:00 AM


Lutheran Church of Hope Chapel


925 Jordan Creek Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Arrangements By:

The Cremation Society of Iowa



November 24, 2018

Start Time:

10:00 am until service time

Glola Basler

Glola Grace (Caskey) Basler died in Des Moines, Iowa on November 19, 2018 following a short illness.  Glola was 78.  She had been a resident of West Des Moines since May 2013 after living for 30 years in Sylvan Lake just outside of Mundelein, Illinois. Because it was the perfect house in the perfect spot with perfect neighbors, Glola called the house in Sylvan Lake our “miracle house.”  It was the perfect place to raise a family.

Glola was born at Clarinda Municipal Hospital in Clarinda, Iowa on November 9, 1940 to William Howard and Mary (Blair) Caskey.  She grew up on a farm near College Springs where the family raised corn, beans, hogs and cattle.  Glola always loved animals, especially cats and dogs.  In school, Glola was a talented musician and an excellent student.  She was the valedictorian of Amity High School in College Springs in 1959.  Glola graduated with a degree in Education from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania in 1963.

While at Geneva Glola met Jay Basler, a Philosophy major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The two were married on August 7, 1964 at the Clarinda Reformed Presbyterian Church.  In 1856, Glola’s great-great grandfather, James Caskey, had sold the acreage for this church to the church deacons for $.25 cents.  After the couple was married, they moved to the Boston area where Jay attended seminary and Glola taught school in Ipswich.  As her young family shuttled between stops in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Kansas and Illinois, Glola alternated between teaching and working as a stay-at-home-mom.  Later she helped create and run the Wee Kirk Preschool at the Kirk of the Lakes Presbyterian Church in Mundelein until her retirement.

Glola cherished time spent with family and friends.  She loved reading and was a member of multiple book clubs and Bible studies.  One of her book clubs in Mundelein is still called “Glola’s book club.”  Glola also loved playing Scrabble and other word games.  She was tough to beat at all of them.  Glola was a loyal fan of the Chicago Cubs and the Iowa Hawkeyes.  She rarely missed a game, but her favorite time later in life was time spent watching her grandchildren play the sports or music that they loved.  Glola was also a master chocolate chip cookie baker.  Her kids, grandkids, and friends always looked forward to her cookies.

Glola lived a life of service to others.  In addition to teaching in the public schools and at the preschool, Glola also tutored adult ESL students through her local library.  She especially enjoyed teaching many generations of children about the love of Jesus in Sunday School classes.  She was still teaching a class at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Des Moines the week before she died.  Glola loved studying God’s word, but being a Reformed Presbyterian by birth, her favorite book was the Psalms.  As an organ donor, Glola was able to continue to serve after death by making a donation to the Iowa Donor Network.

Glola’s family includes her husband, Jay; their children David (Kendra) Basler of West Des Moines, Sue (Brett) Klein of Adel, Daniel (Carlene) Basler of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Douglas (Katie) Basler of Aberdeen, Washington; grandchildren Samuel, Grace, and Eli Basler, Tyler, Mikayla, and Audrey Klein, Lauren (Josh) Dank, Elias and Finnlea Basler, Addison, Jackson and Isaac Basler; great-grandchild Eliza Dank; and Glola’s brother-in-law Thomas (Irma) Joseph.  She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Martha Joseph, and an infant sibling who died shortly after birth.

Services celebrating Glola’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at the Lutheran Church of Hope Chapel in West Des Moines. A visitation will precede the memorial service starting at 10:00 a.m.  Following the service, the family invites all in attendance to a luncheon, also to be served at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be directed to the Glola Basler Memorial Fund (care of Lutheran Church of Hope) or the HealthWell Foundation (  The HealthWell Foundation helped Glola afford an experimental trial medication that proved very effective in treating her pulmonary fibrosis.


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