McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Father of Pam Basilius ’73 and father-in-law of Beth Toerne ’70 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on February 20, 2017

Donald William 12/21/1928 – 2/16/2017
Don Basilius knew what it meant to work hard. Anyone who knew him would tell you that. And yet, though his accomplishments were many, his family will always remember him for how he made them feel. Loved. Always loved. Don knew how to make the people around him feel special, and welcome and accepted. He was a loving father and grandfather who taught the value of hard work, persistence and patience.
With his wife, Barbara by his side, Donald William Basilius died at the age of eighty-eight on Thursday, February 16 at his home at The Waterford at Levis Commons.
The first child of Otto and Marie Basilius of Toledo, born December 21, 1928 at home on Humboldt Street in Toledo, Ohio. Don attended Macomber Vocational Technical High School where he learned the basics of the trade that would become his passion for life. In 1943, on a cold and rainy morning on the way to school, he offered a ride to a girl standing on the corner in her crisp white uniform and babushka, not knowing then that six years and hundreds of love letters later, that ride would become his bride. Donald and Barbara (Helm) married in 1949 and made the South end their home for most of their lives.
Don began his career working for his father at Otto’s grinding, sharpening lawn mowers and cutting tools during the war. When the war ended, Donald saw the potential in building injection molds and invested in the equipment that would be the start of The Basilius Tool Company, and where Don proudly ran the business for many years, and truth be told, never really retired.
Though he worked long hours, Don also loved to entertain with his wife Barbara and they were well known throughout the neighborhood for their themed pool parties. After learning to dance (one of Barbara’s absolute requirements of their marriage!), Don spent many a Friday night waltzing and polka-ing the night away with friends at the old Billyle’s Supper Club, The Maumee Elks, and any other venue where they could join friends for an evening of fun after a long week. He was also an avid traveler, visiting Sanibel Island, Aruba, Europe, and many places throughout the United States. Just a couple years ago, Don gathered his entire family for a Caribbean Cruise – a memory he talked about until the end.
He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara; children, Dwight (Beth) (Santa Cruz, CA), Pam (Springfield, OR), Scott (Denise) (Maumee, OH), and Brian (Candy) (Key Largo, FL); brother, Vernon (Amy) (Toledo, OH); brother-in-law Darwyn Keiser (Waterville, OH); grandchildren, Meagan and Molly (Dwight), Alexandra and Drew (Pam), Kiersten, Nick, and Mike, (Scott) and Jade and Chelsea (Brian); great-grandchildren, Silas and Will (Meagan) Rilyn and Kason (Alex) and Sophia and Olivia (Molly) and many nieces, nephews and dear friends. Don was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Carol Ann Keiser.
The family would like to thank all of the wonderful caregivers at The Waterford at Levis Commons and good friends Sheila and Mark Coburn for their kindness and years of gentle giving.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 23,2017 from 2-8 p.m. at The Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Avenue, Toledo Ohio. Barbara and the Basilius children will be hosting a celebration of his life on Friday at 11 a.m. at The Walker Funeral Home followed by interment at Ottawa Hills Memorial Park in Toledo, OH. Please join us to share your memories. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Don to the charity of the donor’s choice .
To share a memory or condolence with the family, please visit
As published in The Blade

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