On Wednesday May 8, 2013 Sherman L. Babcock, beloved husband of the late Eleanor E.B. Babcock, passed away peacefully with his family at his side. Loving father of Judy, Nancy, and Bill Babcock, and Bill's wife Patty, he is also survived by his granddaughters Annie and Molly Babcock, sisters in-law Helen Boehme and Helen Babcock, and extended family and friends.
Family and friends are invited to gather at Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home at Meadowridge Memorial Park, Inc., 7250 Washington Blvd., Elkridge, MD 21075 on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 1:00-2:00pm at which time the Memorial Service will be celebrated.
Contributions in Sherman's memory may be made to the Parkinson's Foundation, Hospice of Chesapeake, or your local Hospice.
Sherman Leroy Babcock had a life well lived. After growing up in East Rutherford, New Jersey and graduating from East Rutherford High School in 1944, he served his country in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1948. His discharge papers show he had received a theater medal while in the Navy, a fact we never knew because he was likely too humble to share! Upon return from naval service he became a college man, earning a B.A. degree in mathematics from Syracuse University graduating Cum Laude in 1951. During his college years his ability to balance brains and brawn became evident: Sherman managed to keep high grades in his rigorous mathematics classes while excelling as an athlete on his college wrestling team. Thus began a long career in quality control engineering, mathematics, and statistics, and a lifelong love of playing and watching sports including playing softball, football and pool, watching figure skating, and winter and summer Olympic sports.
Sherm maintained an active social life after college during which he attended a music concert where the pianist caught his eye. The pianist's name was Eleanor Boehme and it was love at first sight, whereupon Sherm turned to his friend and declared, "I'm going to marry that girl!" Eleanor and Sherman were married less than a year later in 1953 and stayed that way for 56 years until Eleanor's death in 2009. They eventually settled in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ where Sherm and Eleanor did the math, addition took place, and the 2 became 5 over the next 6 years with the births of Judy, Nancy, and Bill.
As the years passed Sherman continued his education in statistics, quality control, experimental design, physics, and chemistry; he was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the National Mathematics Honorary Society; and became a Certified Quality Engineer by the American Society of Quality Control (ASQC) in 1966 and later a Senior Member which he remained for the rest of his life. In his working life he traveled extensively for RCA, visiting Puerto Rico, Brazil, Chile, and other countries where he formed many friendships, visiting co-workers homes and inviting them to his home when they traveled to the U.S., thereby contributing to world peace.
Every summer Sherman and Eleanor would take their kids camping in upstate New York or on Long Island where the kids were exposed to outdoor cooking, wildlife observation, and closeness with nature. They socialized with other campers everywhere the family camped and this is where Sherman earned the title of "Doctor" by virtue of the fact that whenever any child or adult needed a splinter removed, an application of Sweet Fern tea, or just a soothing word, Dr. B. was on duty and miraculous cures took place!
Sherman had strong bonds of friendship with high school friends and others he grew up with. This group of friends formed a "social and athletic club" called The Hoboes. They hosted parades and family events, had weekly softball games, and celebrated Christmas with presents for all the kids and July 4th with a huge family barbecue.
Mr. Babcock served his communities as president of the Board of Education in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, and as a member of the Elks Club in Lancaster, PA where he served as Exalted Ruler for a year. After retirement from working life, he served as County Commissioner for Volusia County, FL, as a volunteer tutor for mathematics for elementary and high schools in Oak Hill, and even taught statistics at Florida State University for a year. All of these activities allowed him to draw upon his generous, warm nature, and his skill as a teacher. The other members of the County Commission called his input "the voice of reason."
Not one for all work and no play, Mr. B. made time to fish, play pool, go clamming and crabbing, play cards, and delight kids and adults with card tricks. Mr. B. had a great sense of humor, too, as did Eleanor, which his kids like to think they inherited from them both. When asked by a friend, "Hey, Sherm. Did you get a haircut?" he would respond, "Yeah, I got 'em all cut!"
Sherm thought family in general was most important and loved his own family most of all. Almost all pictures in his and Eleanor's collection contain family members of one sort or another. After his eldest daughter became a widow, he expressed to her that he hoped she would again find a companion, speaking from of his experience of its importance to him for a happy life, and wanting this for her again. Even when his dementia progressed and other memories failed, he always recognized the voices of his children and grandchildren and smiled when hearing them.
Mr. Sherman came to enjoy and depend upon the company of his second family at Morningside House of Friendship where he was well loved. He leaves a legacy of love, generosity, wisdom, humor, and friendship to all his family and friends and anyone fortunate enough to have known him. He will be remembered variously as Sherm, Sherman, Mr. B., Dr. B., Sarge, and Captain, depending on who you are. Being only human, he was no saint, but he was close enough.
We will honor his memory by living life to its fullest, embracing volunteerism, and using all the good things Dad and Mom taught us.