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Elwin Basquin

November 18, 1931 July 1, 2021
Elwin Basquin
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Obituary for Elwin Basquin

PEORIA - Elwin L. Basquin, 89, of Heartis Village, 8201 North Illinois State Route 91, Peoria, IL, former President and General Manager of the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation licensee of WTVP-TV, Channel 47, died at 8:26 AM, July 1, 2021 at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home, Peoria IL.

He was born November 18, 1931 in Independence, Iowa to Lawrence E. and Alta M. (Smith) Basquin. Elwin married Phyllis Jean Andrews on September 27, 1953 in Independence, Iowa. She survives. Also surviving are 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.

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.

He grew up with a love for music during the big band era and vocals. He acted and sang in junior and senior high school solo, quartet, operettas and sang professionally later. He graduated from Independence High School in 1949.

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 Sgt. with the U.S. Marines, 1951-54 in Korea. Just three years after his discharge he attained a B.S. Degree from Drake University, Des Moines in 1957, and a M.S Degree from Iowa State University in 1969. He was named an Adjunct Professor of Mass Communications at Bradley University, Peoria, in 1978, and he was presented the "Honorary Alumni Award" by Bradley University in 1996, given for "life-long commitment to excellence" a fundamental tenet established by Lydia Moss Bradley. He retired from WTVP in 1996.

He was active in the planning and development of Public radio and television stations in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. He was employed in commercial radio, TV and advertising/marketing in Des Moines in the mid-1950-60's. He helped establish the first educational TV station, KDPS for the Des Moines Public Schools in 1958, which later became the flagship station, KDIN of the Iowa Public Broadcasting Network in 1968, for which he served as Director of Business Affairs and Development, and Executive Assistant of the state agency.
He was appointed Station Manager of WTVP-TV, Channel 47, a new public station, founded by Profressor, Dr. Philip Weinberg, in Peoria in mid 1971. In 1980 he was named Vice President and General Manager, and served as President from 1987 until late 1996 when he retired. He was awarded "Honorary Trustee" status by the Board of Trustees in 1996. He was active in state, regional and national public broadcasting activities. He was cited with a special resolution by the Illinois Legislature in 1990 for his continuing leadership and service to public broadcasting by improving the "quality of life" for the citizens of Illinois. He served a number of years as President of the Illinios Public Broadcasting Council and was honored by Governor Jim Edgar who officially proclaimed July 31, 1992 as "Elwin Basquin Day in Illinois." Gov. Edgar commented, "but every day is Elwin Basquin Day".

Basquin helped establish WQPT, Moline, CONVOCOM (known as Network Knowledge, now a part of WSIU, a regional educational and public broadcasting consortium in the mid 1970's, located in Springfield, IL operating WSEC, WMEC and WQEC television stations. Over the years he served as Vice Chairman, Treasurer, a member of the Executive Board and named a "Life Member" of the organization in 1996.
He served as Cable Relations Committee Chairman and member of the Central Educational Network's Executive Board in the early 1990's, was awarded CEN's coveted "Jerry Trainor" award
for his dedication and outstanding service to public TV and was given national recognition by CEN and the Illinois Public Broadcasting Council.
Throughout the Midwest many referred to Basquin as the "Dean of Public Broadcasting" by students, volunteers, apprentices and young professionals he trained or mentored during his 45 year span of service. He recruited, trained and led volunteers throughout his career.
He was active in the work of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and a member since 1972 of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 135 N.E. Randolph, Peoria having served in the choir, and on several boards and in leadership positions mainly with evangelism, missions and discipleship. He was "Spiritual Gifts" Coordinator for the Central Illinois District, LCMS and trained clergy and new church members.

He was past Board Chairman of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, Central-South Region, receiving their "Volunteer of the Year Award" in 1999 and in 2001 was recognized for "25 years of commitment and dedicated service to the mission of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois". He also was a member of LSSI's Cornerstone Foundation and featured in LSSl's Autumn 2001 publication as the "I am the "I" in LSSI" story.

He was Past President of Lutheran Brotherhood, Branch #8271 and President of Peoria County Thrivent Chapter during 2002-2006. He was a board member and Co-Executive Director of the Concordia Lutheran School Foundation and served as its Vice President and President. He was also a Governing Member of the Peoria Area Community Foundation, a Paul Harris Fellow and a 25-year member of the Downtown Peoria Rotary Club.

He was a leader in helping raise funds, promote and produce videos in building homes for Habitat for Humanity in the Peoria area for several years, active in the 15th Anniversary Blitz builds of the 50th home in 2004, and Thrivent Chapter President overseeing the construction of three Thrivent Builds with Habitat homes in Peoria in 2006, and Thrivent Chapter Specialist for a Habitat home in Chillicothe, IL in 2008.

He was selected as the 2005 "Volunteer of the Year" in the Heartland Region by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and also named Lutheran "National Volunteer of the Year" Retired Category, for outstanding service to others and making a difference in the world community.

He loved his ever growing family and enjoyed being together with them. Over the past 42 years, during which time his children and grandchildren were schooled at Concordia Lutheran School, he volunteered for special events and projects as well as President of the Concordia Foundation Board. Activities have included fundraising and planning for the 50th Anniversary of the school, the band's trip to Washington D.C., and the establishment of a development director for the school.

Services will be 2:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hamilton and Randolph Streets in Peoria, Pastor Mark Nelson and Pastor Matt Synnott, officiating. Visitation will be 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the church two hours prior to the funeral at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Burial will be 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

Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

6

Jul

12:00 PM 7/6/2021 12:00:00 PM - 2:00 PM 7/6/2021 2:00:00 PM
Trinity Luthean Church

135 NE Randolph AVe
Peoria, IL 61606

Trinity Luthean Church
135 NE Randolph AVe Peoria 61606 IL
United States

Funeral Service

Tuesday

6

Jul

2:30 PM 7/6/2021 2:30:00 PM
Trinity Luthean Church

135 NE Randolph AVe
Peoria, IL 61606

Trinity Luthean Church
135 NE Randolph AVe Peoria 61606 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Lutheran Cemetery Final Resting Place

914 S Pleasant
Peoria, IL 61604

914 S Pleasant Peoria 61604 IL
United States
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