Keith Basinski with parents Buzz and Cleo
MINNEAPOLIS - Keith Basinki spent 29 years driving for UPS; a career he clearly enjoyed, but his mother always thought he should be something else.
Namely, an engineer.
Basinski was one of four people killed in a mass shooting at a Minneapolis small business Tuesday. He was also known as a dedicated father, a good neighbor and most of all... a gentle spirit, according to his mother Cleo Basinski of DePere, Wisconsin.
Cleo Basinski says Keith was a good person, who lived a good life. He called her like clockwork every Tuesday night, and put minutes on her cell phone so she could keep in touch with extended family members all across the U.S.
She spent Friday fielding calls from family and friends, and pondering how she will tell her husband about Keith's death. Buzz Basinski is in a nursing home, suffering from Alzheimer's.
Keith Basinski came to the Twin Cities to attend North Central University in Minneapolis where he received a degree in Pastoral Studies, but he had a great aptitude for fixing things and knowing how they work which made his mother think he should be an engineer.
His neighbor Nina Nguyen would concur. She tells KARE 11 that Basinski was an excellent neighbor, who was always helping them and fixing things.
"We have lived here for over 20 years," said Nguyen. "Whenever we had problems, he always came over and was the first one to help us."
Jeffrey Basinski, 53, of Elk River said his brother was a "born-again Christian" and he is "home" now.
"For me personally," said Jeffrey Basinski, "I did not just lose a brother. He has been my best friend, the closest person I go to with anything, good or bad and his daughter told me that I was his best friend, too."
Several people who had been on Basinski's regular UPS delivery route commented on his kindness and friendliness. All expressed shock and sadness at his death. UPS Northern Plains District President Jill Schubert issued a statement.
"We are profoundly shocked and saddened over this tragic event involving our driver...Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and the families of the other victims."
Funeral arrangements for Keith Basinski are not yet complete.
A memorial fund has been set up for the family of Keith Basinski. Donations can be made to the 'Keith Basinski Memorial Fund' at the First Advantage Bank at 9950 Foley Boulevard in Coon Rapids. Donations will be accepted through October 31.
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