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Published: Tuesday, 7/17/2012

WW II vet became O-I chemist, manager

Frederick Basting, 1928-2012

BY JESSICA SHOR
BLADE STAFF WRITER

HURON, Ohio -- Frederick Basting, a father of six who worked at Owens-Illinois Inc. for 25 years, as a chemist and later as head of quality control, died July 10 at Admiral's Pointe nursing home in Huron, Ohio. He was 83.

Mr. Basting died of complications after surgery on his hip, according to his son Alan. He remembered his father as a man who threw his full weight behind all his undertakings, whether coaching his five sons' baseball teams, attending night school while raising a family, or cultivating a rose garden in the Arizona desert.

"He was a really determined and hard-working person," his son said. "One thing we -- all the kids -- learned from him was hard work."

Mr. Basting was born in Detroit in 1928 to Peter and Rose Basting, immigrants from Austria-Hungary. He graduated from high school in 1945 in Salem, Ore., where the family lived on a chicken farm, and immediately enlisted in the Navy. He served for two years during World War II before returning to Detroit.

It was there that his brother Leonard set him up on a blind date with Barbara Cunningham, to whom he was married for 63 years. The couple had five sons and one daughter.

Mr. Basting moved to the Toledo area in the late 1950s.

His sons described him as an involved father. He was a Scout leader -- he took one son's troop to a game between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox at which Ted Williams hit one of his final home runs -- and coached each of his sons through Little League, pony league, and colt league baseball in Maumee.

"There were five boys, so it was one right after another in baseball. As soon as one would get done, the next one was ready to play," Alan Basting recalled.

Mr. Basting balanced his active family life with a career as a chemist in Monroe- ville, first at Durkee, a spice company he helped move to Cincinnati, and later as an insurance salesman.

Mr. Basting then moved to Toledo to work at O-I, where he remained for 25 years, retiring as the head of quality control at the closures plant in Constantine, Mich. While working full time, he also attended night classes for six years at the University of Toledo, graduating in 1967 with a degree in business administration.

"It was a long, hard road for him, with six kids," Alan Basting said of his father's higher education, which began with a two-year degree in chemistry from Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich. "But he wanted to set an example for his children, that education was important enough to work hard to get."

After his retirement in 1984, Mr. Basting spent time with his extended family and devoted his energy to landscaping his home in Huron, where he later lived. An avid gardener, he was especially fond of roses, and even succeeding in growing them in the dry heat of Apache Junction, Ariz., where he and his wife bought a home in 1997, living there part time.

"He was determined to grow roses in the desert, and he did," Alan Basting said. "He was real proud of that. There weren't a lot of roses in the area."

Surviving are sons, Alan, Jeff, Chris, Glenn, and Patrick; daughter, Marcy Nally; 13 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. July 28 in Zion Lutheran Church, Huron, Ohio.

The family suggests tributes to Zion Lutheran Church or a charity of the donor's choosing.

Contact Jessica Shor at: jshor@theblade.com or 419-724-6516.



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