Source: Sherman Publications

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Activist and public servant passes

by Dan Shriner

January 16, 2013

Jill Bastian
Former Orion Township Clerk Jill D. Bastian, 66, passed away on Sunday leaving a legacy of community service and activism that will long be remembered.

Bastian was township clerk from 1996 to 2008 during which time she championed environmental and other community efforts.

"She was the leader and spark plug for the development and maintenance of our safety paths system," said former Orion Township Supervisor JoAnn Van Tassel. "She led the effort to secure a quarter mill levy to construct and maintain the paths. She was the leader of the safety path advisory board that is still in place."

Bastian was a long-time activist even before she became clerk. She helped organize Orion's monthly used book sale for the Friends of the Library during the early 1990s and was always concerned with environmental causes.

As the Orion Township clerk, she was responsible for oversight and management of all elections during her 12 years on the job.

"She did a great job of handling the elections and making them run smoothly," Van Tassel said.

"She believed that public office was a public trust and she made this township much better."

Bastian always sought greater citizen participation in government and believed it helped make the community better.

"We are much better off in this community because Jill Bastian was active here," Van Tassel said.

Bastian also was an avid reader and knitter. She was a long-time member of the Lake Orion United Methodist Church. She passed away at home, in hospice care.

She is survived by Douglas, her husband of 44 years. She had a daughter, Heather M. (Clark) Pierce, of Sacramento, CA. She has niece, Megan Barlow and grandson, Benny.

She also leaves a brother, Joel (Fran) Barlow, of Hillsborough, N.J. and sister-in-law Joyce Bastian Rapp, of Surprise AZ.

A memorial service will be held at a future date. Memorials may be directed to local or global causes for women, the needy or missions, or for peace and justice.  Reflections may be shared with the family by visiting