In Memoriam: Sylvia Bashline


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Sylvia G. Bashline, 78, of State College, Pa., died Sept. 20, 2011, at her residence.
She was born Aug. 13, 1933, in Port Allegheny, Pa., a daughter of the late Robert T. and Florence S. Grabe. She was married on Aug. 3, 1952, to L. James “Jim” Bashline who died June 6, 1995.
Bashline graduated from Coudersport High School and attended Grove City College. She was a prize winning outdoor writer and photographer, specializing in outdoor cooking. She authored three books on fish and game cookery.
She and her husband traveled extensively through the United States, Canada and Central America, taking photographs and gathering material for hundreds of outdoor articles. She was Food Editor for Field & Stream magazine from 1976 to 1990. From 1991 to 1996 she was Outdoor Life’s food columnist.
Bashline was a member and past president of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. She also served on the board of directors and as secretary-treasurer of the Outdoor Writers Association of America before being hired as the executive director in 1984. She retired from that post in 1994.
She was an active member and supporter of the State College Red Brush Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society and enjoyed dove and grouse hunting, as well as trout and Atlantic salmon fishing.
She is survived by two daughters: Tina Bashline, wife of Robert Brownell of Wrightstown, Pa.; and Zoa B. Kile, wife of Terry C. Kile of Landisville, Pa. Bashline is also survived by her brother Ted Grabe of McCormick, S.C., four grandchildren: Meredith, Taylor, Alice and Leigh; and her dog, Finley. In accordance with Bashline’s wishes, a memorial service was held Oct. 2, 2011, at the Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club.
Memorial contributions may be made to any of the following: the Sylvia and Jim Bashline Writers Fund, c/o OWAA, 615 Oak Street, Suite 201, Missoula, MT 59801; the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, PO Box 33, 176 Water Company Road, Millersburg, PA 17061; or the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum Association, 1240 North Mountain Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112. ♦
As kids, we felt the camaraderie that existed within the Outdoor Writers Association of America when we attended conferences with Mom and Dad.
As adults, we witnessed that bond once again when our mom, Sylvia Bashline, was nearing death.
She decided to let some friends from OWAA know about her diagnosis of lung cancer, mostly via email. She wanted to say “thanks” for all the good times. The many responses she received to these emails helped to fill her final days with laughter, a few tears and many good conversations about earlier adventures. She received cards, letters, emails and phone calls. She forwarded some of the emails to us, with notes attached saying, “More Love” and “They think I’m pretty okay.” She was so proud and pleased.
When Mom became too tired to read them herself, we and her grandchildren would read them to her — and that became another way that the kids were able to learn even more about their grandmother’s life and contributions to her field of endeavor.
We want to send our heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported Mom during her tenure as executive director of OWAA as well as during the last month of her life. As a lover of the written word, she turned to writing to express her final thoughts and your words in return meant so much to her. What better tribute to an outdoor writer? ♦
— Zoa Bashline Kile, Tina Bashline

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