Elwin L. Basquin of Heartis Village, Peoria, Ill., former president and GM of the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation licensee of WTVP-TV, Channel 47, died at 8:26 a.m. Thursday at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home. He was 89.
Basquin was born Nov. 18, 1931, in Independence, Iowa, to Lawrence E. and Alta M. (Smith) Basquin. He married Phyllis Jean Andrews Sept. 27, 1953, in Independence.
As a U.S. Marine radio operator FO (forward observer) known as “Eli” in 1st ANGLICO, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V” for Valor and Bravery in Action, plus numerous other medals and commendations while serving as a sergeant with the U.S. Marines, 1951–54 in Korea.
He attained a Bachelor of Science from Drake University in 1957 and a Master of Science from Iowa State University.
He was active in the planning and development of public radio and television stations in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. He was appointed station manager of WTVP-TV, then a new public television station in Peoria, in 1971. In 1980 he was named VP and GM and served as president from 1987 to 1996, when he retired.
He was active in the work of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and a member since 1972 of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Peoria. He was President of the Concordia Lutheran School Foundation Board.
He served, led and volunteered with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Lutheran Brotherhood, Branch #8271, and was a 25-year member of the Downtown Peoria Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a leader for Habitat for Humanity in the Peoria area and was selected as the 2005 “Volunteer of the Year” in the Heartland Region by Thrivent Financial.
Basquin is survived by his wife, Phyllis; four daughters: Lynne E. (Patrick) Flynn, Luann M. (Daryl) Claudin, Lizabeth “Biz” A. (Justin) Middleton, all of the Peoria area, and Laurie S. (Frank) Cleaver, West Des Moines, Iowa; 17 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild as well as several nieces and nephews. He loved his ever-growing family and enjoyed being with them.
His parents; two sisters, Eileen Basquin, and LaVerna Belle Crawford; daughter Lisa Kay Quigley; grandson Timothy Quigley Jr.; and granddaughter Celeste Reszel all preceded him in death.
Services were held Tuesday at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hamilton and Randolph Streets in Peoria, Pastor Mark Nelson and Pastor Matt Synnott officiating. Burial was at Lutheran Cemetery, Peoria.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Elwin Basquin Endowed Scholarship in Mass Communications at Bradley University and the WTVP Endowment Fund.
Friends may sign the online guestbook or send condolences to www.wrightandsalmon.com.