Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

William R. Bastian

March 04, 1923 ~ February 11, 2023

William R. Bastian, 99, of Vero Beach , FL passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Feb. 11, 2023. He was born March 4, 1923 in Alvira,  PA to William M. and Grace Bastian where he grew up with his two brothers, Bob and Elwood, on the family farm. As a Captain in the Army, he served as a meteorologist in Vik, Iceland during WWII. Upon returning home, he married Frances Irene Wagner in 1946. He graduated from Penn State University in 1947 and continued his education in Industrial Engineering at Lehigh University graduating with an MS degree in 1955.

Married 61 years, they raised a family of 6 children, starting in PA, moving to CT, then to MI before they moved back to PA to retire while snow-birding in FL.

He worked for Helicoil Corp. in CT and from there spent the remainder of his successful career in MI at Grand Rapids Die Casting, a subsidiary of Park Electrochemical Corporation, where he took the company to the NY Stock Exchange.  He was part of a team that enhanced a patent for a diverter spout that changed the flow of water from tub to shower head, which bathroom fixture companies use to this day.

Dad was active in leadership roles in Rotary before and after retirement. He was an avid Penn State fan his entire life, especially enjoying football and wrestling. He was honored to receive the Outstanding Engineering Alumnus from Penn State University in 1997 in recognition of his distinguished career and exemplary leadership abilities.  He also served on the Penn State Engineering Society Board from 1995-2001. His Penn State legacy includes establishing an academic enrichment endowment in the school of Industrial Engineering.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, whom he affectionately called Renie, and his first born son, Gary (Sylvia). His surviving children are Sondra Horne (Jim), Jon Bastian (Nancy), James Bastian, Lisa Guetzko (Mark), and Kim Amsbury (Bill), and 11 beloved grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Throughout his time in Vero Beach, he played duplicate bridge 6 days a week, There he met Helen Campbell, treasuring their companionship and time together.

One of the great joys of his life was hosting family gatherings on the “mountain” property in Pennsylvania following his retirement.  Dad was the patriarch of the family and the glue that held the extended family together, creating a lifetime of memories. Some examples included bocce ball tournaments, homemade apple butter (the old fashioned way), mountain trail hikes, drinks from the spring house, freshly “squozen” orange juice, and family meals of waffles, scrapple, and fresh pan-fried trout. Dad had a “move it or lose it ” mentality and enjoyed exercising in his pool daily throughout his nineties. Watching, entertaining, and following the careers and activities of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was a passion in his later years. Taking his grandchildren and great-grandchildren on “Secret Meetings”, which we later found out were ice cream outings, was one of the many special memories he was so gifted at creating for our family.

Our Dad taught us many things but most of all to work hard and play harder. He will be dearly missed and always treasured.

There will be a private family graveside service in Pennsylvania at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the William Bastian Memorial and sent to: Lisa Guetzko, 22330 180th Ave., Manchester, IA 52057

Donations will be gratefully contributed to the Millbrook Playhouse in Mill Hall, PA for a memorial bench and summer theatre camp for kids. Our dad orchestrated many family theatre nights there and we joyfully attended plays together and because of him, learned to appreciate the arts.




February 16, 2023, 1:36 am

Kim I feel like I knew your dad from all the amazing stories you shared with us about growing up in your family! What a great daddy you had! I am in awe that he was such a brilliant, active, and outgoing man all the way into his 90s! God bless you and your family. I know how much you dearly love him, and I can only say that the way he lived his life is something we can all aspire to be like! Love and condolences to your entire family!

Chet Atlas

February 17, 2023, 5:25 pm

I knew Bill only through a UU (Unitarian) discussion group. He didn’t talk a lot but when he did people listened. We discovered a mutual interest in collegiate wrestling and he invited me over to watch NCAA wrestling championships and to drink his excellent whiskey. A fun evening. What a nice guy! We’re all very sorry for his passing.

Johnna Swendsen

February 17, 2023, 5:29 pm

Although I didn’t know your dad personally I want all of you to know what a great person I think he was. His life legacy is a tribute to those who served and to be commended for his work and family values. May the peace of your memories comfort you through these difficult times
My Sincere Condolences
Johnna Swendsen
UUVFB Choir Member

Rick Helfand

February 18, 2023, 1:25 am

Met Bill at the bridge table in Vero Beach. Just a wonderfully nice bright guy. Also met him at the UU church where he always had a smile and remembered everyone. He will be missed.

Linda and Cary

February 18, 2023, 7:25 pm

Jonny your dad was one of the nicest man ever. In the last 28 years that we have all been friends I always looked forward to coming to Vero beach and seeing you and Nan of course but also your father. He made me happy and we had jokes to share and stories to tell I will always always remember the times at his pool,
And in the many times for dinners one of the things we both enjoyed was eating and why not when the food that Nan always made was so delicious I will miss talking to him and just seeing his exuberant smile and always happy when I brought the panty Lan coffee of course it’s our joke but one that I will always treasure❤️

Cary and Linda Mazur

February 18, 2023, 7:51 pm

Jonny and Nan
We will always remember Bill… Smiling and always so happy to see all of us together. He would always welcome us,
let’s go swimming or let’s go to the clubhouse and have a bite to eat he would say!!!! The many meals we shared together and the many conversations and laughter about Grand Rapids,!!!!
I’ll still bring The Coffee we all love…from Grand Rapids “The Pantyland” and remember our dear Bill!!!!!

Melissa Medlock

February 21, 2023, 6:35 am

One of my favorite clients! I always enjoyed our meetings. He was so sharp and many times quicker than me! My favorite moment was last year when he came in to sign some documents and he asked me “What kind of specials do you have for your 98 year old clients?” My response was “Well I don’t have any other 98 year old clients.” and he laughed and said “That’s my point, so what kind of special can you give me?” He was definietly a family man! He would talk about his kids and grandkids and then always turned the conversation asking about my kids and making comments of how he enjoyed seeing pictures of my family on Facebook! He will be missed!

Elaine Bown

August 23, 2023, 1:30 pm

Dear Bastian Family, I have just learned of Bill’s passing, and I am so saddened. He and Renie shared a suite with us at Penn State for football games. We had sooo much fun with the two of them. We were delighted to host Bill for a game in the suite several years ago when he was still traveling. I kept in touch with him by phone several times a year. He was always such a fun person to talk to and he really, really loved Penn State. He will be sadly missed. Rest in peace, Billy.
Love, Elaine, Ted, and Heather Brown

Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


How can we help?

Our caring professionals are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time. We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to assist in immediate arrangements or pre-arrangements.

Recent Reviews

  • The service from Millennium was outstanding. Rachel was sweet, personable and very comforting. It was important to me that my dad was kept locally where I knew where he would be. Very nice facility, state of the art and quality of my fathers remains were so refined compared to my mothers years ago. I highly recommend this place for an affordable choice for your loved one. Thank you for making an already stressful event easy. With high regards, the Esposito and Keith Family.

    Esposito and Keith Family

    Vero Beach
  • Millennium Cremation provided a fantastic service to our family at a difficult time. Our beloved mother passed away in Vero Beach and the rest of the family was in other parts of the country. Due to the Covid health crisis, none of us could get to Vero Beach in person. That's where Millennium took over. They helped us manage everything, coordinated with a cemetery in Maine, managed the obituaries, expedited all the paperwork, and even delivered an important document locally that saved us days. Funeral director Rachel was a godsend, and she made it clear what she was going to do, and what we needed to do. If you know what you want, Millennium is highly recommended, and the savings versus the full service mortuaries is significant.

    M. Cross

    Vero Beach

Direct Cremation Fee Includes

  • Transportation from the place of death to our family owned crematory
  • Basic alternative cremation container
  • Refrigeration of your loved one
  • Cremation performed by our crematory professional
  • Securing all required authorizations
  • Filing the death certificate
  • Notifying social security administration
  • If veteran, filing for free US flag
  • Assisting with newspaper obituaries
  • Cremains are returned to you in a temporary container

Other Fees That May Apply

  • Medical Examiner (fees vary by county)
  • Transportation outside 35 miles
  • Death certificates (fees vary by county)
  • Newspaper Obituaries (fee charged by newspaper)
  • Keepsakes
  • Permanent Urn
  • Jewelry
Skip to content