Basil Steven Anton (age 87) passed away Tuesday, October 12, 2004, after struggling with declining health over the past few years. Though his powerful lungs finally gave out at the end, he had put them to good use throughout his long life most notably as an athlete, an actor and a singer.
As a young man, Basil was a gifted athlete. On both baseball fields and basketball courts, he led many teams to victory throughout his high school and college years, advancing in both sports to the professional level.
After serving in the Navy during World War II, Basil put his sports career behind him to help support a family and raise two sons with his loving wife, Mary. Though retired from athletic fields, Basil's commanding physique found expression on the stage when he was selected to play the executioner in a University of Utah production of Salome. He went on to play many far less fearsome roles when it was discovered that he was blessed not only with an imposing body, but also with artful, comedic timing.
While a man of many gifts, his greatest may have been his deep, rich, bass voice. He used it not only as an actor, but also as a singer in musical productions, in country-western bands, in the Jay Welch Chorale, and in both the Holy Trinity and Prophet Elias choirs as a longstanding member of the Greek Orthodox Church. He also sang at home surrounded by his loving family, who remember most fondly his powerful and soulful rendition of Ol' Man River.
Basil is predeceased by his parents, Steven and Katherine Anton, and by his son, John Anton, who passed away one year ago. Basil is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary K. Anton; son, Basil (Susan) Anton; daughter-in-law, Nikki Anton; sister, Anne Spanos; granddaughter, Christine (Mike) Polley; grandson, Steven Anton (Lauren Schembari); great-granddaughter, Rebecca Polley; and cousin, Ernest (Barbara) Kaddis. He is also survived by many in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends, who gathered by his side and offered tremendous support in the last leg of his journey.
A viewing will be held Friday, Oct 15, 2004, 6 - 8 p.m., with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m., Wasatch Lawn Mortuary Chapel, 3401 S. Highland Dr. The funeral will be Saturday, Oct 16, 2004, 1 p.m., Prophet Elias Church, 5335 Highland Drive. Interment, Mount Olivet Cemetery. Following interment the family will host a memorial luncheon at Prophet Elias.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Basil's memory to Holy Trinity Restoration Fund, 279 S. 300 W. SLC, Utah 84101, or to the Prophet Elias Choir Fund, 5335 Highland Drive, SLC, Utah 84117.