KCET co-founder is 101 years old – The Hollywood Reporter
Shirley Baskin Familian, who co-founded the Los Angeles public broadcaster KCET and served on its board for more than 60 years, has passed away. She is 101 years old.
Baskin Familian, whose brother and late husband founded the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain in 1945, died Sunday at her Los Angeles home in the Wilshire Corridor, her family announced.
A lifelong creative artist, Baskin Familian moved through a number of media before reaching for the canceled postage stamp mosaic art style. Well performing in her ’90s, she’s had one-woman shows at the Museum of Crafts and Folk Art in Los Angeles, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and most recently the National Museum. Women in the Arts in Washington.
She completed her last artwork at the age of 100 and plans to do more.
Shirley Robbins was born on November 21, 1920 in Winnipeg, Canada. She and her family moved to Seattle and then to Tacoma, Washington, where she attended Annie Wright Seminary. At the University of Washington, she studied art and design and served as president of the Student Women’s Association.
While in college, she met Chicago businessman Burton “Butch” Baskin. They married in 1942 after he completed four years of service in the United States Navy and moved to Southern California.
Her brother, Irv Robbins, learned the dairy business from their father and opened an ice cream shop, Irvin’s Snowbird, in Glendale. He expanded into three stores and convinced his brother-in-law to open his own. As six people, they joined forces to create Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream in 1945.
She helped build the business, writing “Free Birthday Ice Cream Cone” cards that a generation of Americans would come to claim their awards.
She and Baskin helped launch KCET, which was signed as an affiliate of the National Education Television network in September 1964 in a building on Vine Street in Hollywood.
After Baskin died of a heart attack in 1967 at the age of 54, she married Aaron Goldfarb, but he died less than a year later. At the age of 60, she married Isadore Familian, CEO of Price Pfister. He passed away in 2002.
“Shirley has an incredible desire and joy for life and values peace, understanding, and benevolence with everyone she knows, and she lives those values herself.” her family noted.
Survivors include her children, Edie, Richard and Skip; grandchildren Anabella, David, Scott and Jon; and great-granddaughter Goldie.
Donations in her honor can be made to UCLA’s Department of Neurosurgery and the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.