William 'Carroll' Basham
Feb 24th 1945 - May 22nd 2012
As his friends and family can attest, William Carroll Basham never met a stranger as he was as outgoing, talkative and kindhearted as they come. He was the sort of man who would do anything for anyone and was more than willing to talk about the children and grandchildren who were his greatest pride and joy. Carroll traveled all over but was never happier than when he was surrounded by his loved ones. A dedicated worker, loyal friend and true patriot, he will be deeply missed and warmly remembered.
The year 1945 is often remembered as the year that WWII finally came to an end with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. America celebrated the Allied victory from coast to coast while countless young servicemen and women returned stateside to resume the lives they set aside for a time. This year was a year to remember in many ways for a young family who was pleased to welcome the birth of a healthy baby boy on February 24th. Baby William Carroll was born in Bloomington, Illinois, as one of three children born to his parents, Olla and Frances (Hunter) Basham, and was raised in the family home in Cabery, IL, alongside his siblings, James Walter and Olla Thomas. His father worked as a farmer while his mother worked in a local factory. William, or Carroll as he was often known, attended local schools, graduating from high school in the mid-sixties.
The Vietnam War became a reality in the late fifties, and throughout the sixties and early seventies American troops were stationed throughout the Southeast Asia region. William was called to serve in the United States Navy from February of 1970 through February of 1975. Throughout his life Carroll was proud of his service.
Great changes were on the horizon for Carroll when he met the young woman with whom he would share the best years of his life. Her name was Pamela, and they met through the local 4-H, officially introduced by Carroll’s cousin, Melvin. The couple began dating during the summer of 1972 and quickly found themselves in love. With a desire to build a life with Pam, Carroll married his sweetheart in June of 1973. Together they were blessed to raise three wonderful children: Brian, Brent, and Brenda. The family enjoyed spending time together, and some of their most precious memories were made on family vacations to the American Shetland Pony Club/American Miniature Horse Registry national convention held in various locations across the country. Later in life Carroll loved getting his entire family together, which is why the holidays were always such a special time of year. According to Carroll, there was nothing more exciting than each grandchild’s first Christmas. He did enjoy being a father but just may have argued that being a grandfather was the role of a lifetime.
Throughout his life William Carroll worked hard to support his family. He spent over 30 years as a heavy equipment operator at Tobey Construction, and he also worked for Warmbir Trucking.
There were so many things that enriched Carroll’s life. He developed an interest in the farming industry at a young age and continued to love this niche throughout his life. Carroll was also into antique tractors and old farm shows. After the Basham family became heavily involved with competively raising and showing small equine, Carroll enjoyed watching his kids with their ponies and especially enjoyed the equine babies that arrived every spring and summer. He was on the Kankakee Fair Board, was in the American Legion and was a member of the American Shetland Pony Club and American Miniature Horse Registry. Carroll proudly sponsored all the local 4-H activities and was a member of the Cabery Water Fighting team. He and his family also raised and showed dairy goats. He was a former member of the Catholic Church Council and enjoyed traveling while stopping at every small town restaurant along the way. Carroll looked forward to the Labor Day parade where he would drive his horse team every year and loved combine demo derbies. With his passion for helping Kankakee County youth, Carroll made a significant impact in the lives of so many others within his reach. He was also an integral part of coordinating the local fair’s queen pageant for many years.
When looking to unwind, Carroll liked watching reality television shows that involved singing or dancing. His favorite song was the “Watermelon Crawl,” to which he could proudly demonstrate his signature moves. He was always into collecting “treasures” and never underestimated the value of things. Carroll enjoyed the many times he ate breakfast at Union Hill Restaurant.
Through the life of William Basham we are reminded that happiness is not found in what we have, but that true joy is found in the lives we touch along our journey. Carroll inspired us to be kind and compassionate, giving and gentle. Carroll treated everyone like family and loved nothing more than to talk about his family with anyone who would listen. A true gift in every way, he will be deeply missed and warmly remembered.
William “Carroll’ Basham of Herscher, IL, died on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at Provena St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, IL. Carroll’s family includes his wife, Pamela of Herscher, IL; children: Brian (Bobbi) Basham of Union Hill, IL, Brent Basham of Herscher, IL, and Brenda (Jason) Prince of Herscher, IL; 5 grandchildren: Kabel, Casen, Kellen, Michalina and Taylor; several nieces and nephews as well as his two brothers: James ‘Walter’ (Julie) Basham of CO and Olla ‘Thomas’ (Roxanne) Basham of Cabery, IL. Carroll was preceded in death by his parents. A gathering time for family and friends will take place on Monday, May 28 from 4-8 p.m. at Schreffler LifeStory Funeral Home Kankakee Chapel. The funeral service will be Tuesday, May 29 at 10 a.m. at Schreffler LifeStory Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will immediately follow at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood. Please visit William’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign the online guestbook.