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.
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.
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.
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.