LEWISTON — Richard “Dick” Babb left this world Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the age of 86, while in the care of the Marshwood and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice staffs, and has taken up residence in the place where he can get in a few rounds of golf, a little yoga and a mile or two of jogging, free of the crippling effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Born in Farmington, Dick was the eldest of five children of Lester and Althea MacFarland Babb, two of whom survive him, a sister, Barbara Crockett, and her daughters, Allison Crockett and Rebecca Launer; and a brother, Robert and his wife, Arlene, and Robert’s children, Michelle, Michael and Scott. He was predeceased by a younger brother, Roland, a newborn sister, Beverly; a nephew, Robert; and brother-in-law, David Crockett. Dick grew up on Bass Hill in Wilton, under the influence of small-town living and in a family that gave him the values that made him the man he became. A note on a birthday card from a friend characterizes that man: “I continually appreciate all you have done for me and admire your ability to continue to be sensitive to the needs of others, providing inspiration and leadership, when you get so little recognition. You are one in a million!”

After graduation from Wilton Academy, he enrolled at Farmington State Teachers College, but his entry into elementary education was delayed by two and a half years when his number came up in the draft. Upon graduation it was off with the cap and gown and on with the uniform of the United States Army. After basic training, Dick was assigned to the base at Indiantown Gap. He was able to put his interest in music and his ability to play the clarinet to good use. He joined the base band and, in addition, was trained to play the bagpipes, part of a group that made special appearances. Upon his honorable discharge as a corporal, he was finally able to pursue a career in education that began as a sixth-grade teacher at the Farwell School in Lewiston. From there it was up the corporate ladder, so to speak, to positions as elementary principal in Lisbon Falls and the Auburn School systems, where he stayed and went on to director of elementary education, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent. To make his way up the “ladder,” Dick added a Master of Education in administration and supervision at the University of Maine at Orono to his resume. He also added 30 hours of advanced studies at UMO and postgraduate studies in Boston University, Columbia University, UMO and the National Training Lab for School Executives and NASA seminars.

Dick was also active in numerous professional groups. Always the educator, he found the professional associations expanded his educational background and also made many friendships along the way. After retiring from public education, Dick joined the Maine Center for Educational Learning as a consultant. The experience took him into many schools, private businesses, and eventually landed him on a Native American reservation in South Dakota, where he not only worked as a consultant, but also acquired an appreciation and understanding of Native American culture and more new friendships in the school district there. In 1956, Dick and Shirley Dutton were married in South Gardiner, and once Dick joined the Auburn school system, they bought a home on Allen Avenue in Auburn. There they raised two sons, David and Peter, who survive him along with Peter’s sons, Tyler, Andrew and Alex and Tyler’s children, Anna Rose and Kayson. In retirement, Dick especially enjoyed having time to spend with friends, being active in the Methodist Church and any number of outdoor activities, including summers at Popham Beach. The family wants to express special thanks to the Auburn Fire Department for their many trips to Allen Avenue; to the pastor and members of the Methodist Church, who visited Dick and served him communion when he was unable to attend church; to the friends and former colleagues whose visits cheered him up considerably; to the staffs of Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice and Interim who made it possible for Dick to be at home when he was between visits to extra-care facilities; and to the staffs at Marshwood and Androscoggin Hospice who provided care and comfort to Dick in his last days. All of you are special and you know who you are, to both Dick and me, as PD chipped away at his life.

Online condolences may be sent to www.funeralalternatives.net.

Richard E. Babb

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