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Richard W. Babcock, 79

May 16, 2015

HANCOCK, Mass. — Richard Warren Babcock, 79, a former longtime resident of Hancock, died Friday, May 16, 2014, at Williamstown Commons.

Mr. Babcock was a nationally known expert on vintage barns and barn-building and wrote several books on their construction and history. He was featured in numerous publications for his preservation efforts in moving and restoring old barns for reuse and operated the Babcock Barn Museum.

"I'm an evangelist, truth to tell," he told Time Magazine in 2005. "Some men are called to save souls. I was called to save barns."

Born in Schenectady, N.Y., on July 31, 1934, son of Clayton C. and Alice Haley Babcock, he attended the former Williamstown High School.

A Marine veteran of the Korean War, he served from Oct. 9, 1952, until his honorable discharge on Oct. 8, 1955.

Mr. Babcock was a master barn-builder and was self-employed for his entire life.

He was a communicant of the former St. Raphael's Church in Williamstown. He was a member of the American Legion Post 152 of Williamstown and served as grand master, among other positions, of the Williams Lodge of Masons. He was an avid historian.

He leaves five daughters, Hannah Pallos and her husband, Dino, of Lanesborough, twins Susan Coleman and her husband, Michael, of County Mayo, Ireland and Alice Lynch and her husband, Robert, of the state of Florida, and Charlene Leonard and her husband, John, and Margaret Goss and her husband, Timothy, all of Hancock; five sons, David Babcock and his wife, Terrie, of Lee, Charles Babcock and his wife, Marie, of Ohio, Clayton Babcock and his wife, Michelle, of Cheshire, George Babcock and his wife, Nancy, of Lanesborough and Ronald Babcock and his wife, Justine, of West Stephentown, N.Y.; two brothers, Robert West of Pittstown, N.Y., and Frederick West of Chicago, more than 30 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

His sisters Margaret Torrey, Isabelle Peterson, Edith Haley and Ruth West are deceased.

FUNERAL NOTICE — A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Mr. Babcock will be celebrated Wednesday, May 21, 2014, at 10 from at St. Patrick's Church in Williamstown. Burial will follow in Westlawn Cemetery.

Calling hours will be Tuesday, May 20, from 4 to 7 Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home Funeral Homes, West Chapels, 521 West Main St. North Adams. Memorial contributions may be made to HospiceCare of the Berkshires in care of the funeral home.

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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We are all sorry to hear of Richard's passing as it is also the passing of a great deal of knowledge that meant so much to us here at Garfield Farm Museum. We first meet Richard at Phillipsburg Manor in North Tarrytown at a barn raising. From then on I hoped we could get him to Illinois to see our 1842 barn. Finally in 1998 we were able to hold a Timberframe Barn Seminar and Richard came. We had a great time as we also had three Illinois barn historians that joined us. They and Richard all bunked together and spent hours talking about preserving barns. He was a great inspiration. He gave us some valuable insight. My wife and I on a rare trip east in 2009 made a special point to stop by and give Richard our regards as he was living in a retirement home. In two weeks we hope to begin the restoration of our 1842 barn and the hopeful note is another generation, right here in Illinois, Trillium Dell Timberworks has a passion similar though never equal to Richard's for barns. I never can remember a joke in spite of a good memory for many other details however my favorite is Richard's. As he hewed a log, a woman asked if he wore steel toed shoes, and his ever agile reply, "No M'am, dulls the ax". He was a national treasure.
from: Jerome Johnsonon: 09-09-2014

I remember Dick from when I worked in the American Legion in Williamstown back in the late 70's and early 80's. Very nice man and always a gentleman. His kindness and knowledge will be missed.
from: Cathy Moseson: 05-20-2014

So sorry for your loss. Richard will be truly missed
from: Bob Richardsonon: 05-19-2014

You and Filmore should be having quite the reunion!
from: Peter Bakeron: 05-19-2014

My condolences to the family. I first meet Dick in 1957 in New York State and we were friends for a long time and moved away from this area and lost contact with him. He was one hell of a man in my book.
Semper Fi Dick may you rest in R.I.P. my friend
from: Richard LaVigne Sr.on: 05-19-2014

We are very sorry to here this. Richard ad I were always good friends. We are going to miss him.
from: Owen & Debbie Granton: 05-19-2014

sorry to hear of Richards passing
from: alan haleyon: 05-18-2014

 
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