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Give 5 for Guy

by Jack Nanuq 8 months ago in family
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He was a Mensch

Photo supplied by author. Guy Minor Babb; Nov. 1, 1965, to Jan. 8, 2022

Recently I was asked to both write and read a eulogy for a very close friend. It was one of the most daunting tasks I have ever undertaken. But it was the LEAST I could do for him and his family.

I am drawn to write this article because the hole he has left in our world needs to be filled, or at least partially filled. I ask that you take a moment to read the following and then give $5 (or euros, or pesos, or whatever) to YOUR favorite charity. And while you're at it please give five minutes to someone in your life. It may not change your world, but it will help theirs.

I Distinctly remember the first time I met Guy

I distinctly remember the first time I met Guy. It was 1988 and even though it was over three decades ago I can remember it like it was yesterday. Somehow, we got talking about windsurfing. He told me about a day he spent out on the water. By the end of the day, he was so tired and physically spent that he couldn’t get his sailboard onto his truck. He had to pay a kid five dollars to get his board loaded on the roof rack.

Knowing him the way I do now, this story is so Guy. Over the past 30 years I came appreciate that this is the way Guy tackled every project, task or adventure. He put his entire heart, soul and body into every endeavor.

So, God! Here’s five bucks. Please help him get into Heaven. He put everything he had into living life to the fullest and fighting cancer. He has earned his place there, but he may be too worn out to make the trip himself.

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Thank you all for your time and consideration. Below, I have included a copy of the eulogy.

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Eulogy, as read on January 15, 2022, at St. Peters Church, Rutland, VT

As I sat down to write this eulogy, I tried to find a way to share with the world what kind of person Guy Minor Babb was. The Yiddish word “Mensch” is the best single descriptor of a person with Guy’s qualities. This is a person of integrity and honor; someone to admire and emulate. The key to being a real mensch is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.

I have known Guy for almost 35 years and there is so much to unpack here. To be honest, it was a challenge to know where to start. He has done so much and helped so many people throughout his life.

So…I’m going to start is with his time at Stafford Technical Center. Can I please ask that all Stafford students to stand? You guys and gals occupied a special place in his heart. He was incredibly proud of all of you.

He didn’t just see himself as a teacher, he saw himself as a mentor. He and I frequently talked about Stafford and his students. He thought his cancer was cheating you out of an education. I hope that you can take whatever you learned from him and apply it in the best way possible.

He truly wanted the best for all of you. His enthusiasm and dedication was genuine and infectious. So much so that he was able to get his department’s program advisory board, to provide to the Stafford students the opportunity to receive Lean training and a Lean Certificate.

For folks that are unfamiliar with this program “the goal of Lean is to apply a set of principles that eliminate waste and increase efficiency within a loop of continuous improvement.” Trainees are given the opportunity to participate in a simulated assembly line in order to apply LEAN principles in a hands-on work environment. At the end of the program, students take a test to demonstrate comprehension. Stafford, with the blessing of the state Agency of Education, became the first school in the state to offer this certification. This was all Guy’s doing. And he did it for the sake of the students and their success.

Now let me touch on what he did for the Boy Scouts. He brought the same enthusiasm he had for teaching to Scouting. He was an Eagle Scout and so are his three sons. Part of the EagIe Scout pledge reads as follows: “I believe in the Boy Scouts of America as a movement that has as its aim and purpose, character building and citizenship training. I believe it to be a movement that helps a Scout become master of his own powers, helps him get along with others and helps him find a worthy use for his talents.” This was Guy through and through. And he didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk.

He was instrumental in starting the annual Rutland Christmas tree roundup. This is a program where the Scouts collect and dispose of old Christmas trees. They collect the trees, chip the trees, and then use the product for clean fill. This program provides a valuable service to the citizens of Rutland, as well as the environment. In addition, it provides an opportunity for the Scouts to interact with their community. The cost to the community is minimal and based upon an honor system. The person(s) needing a tree to be removed leave whatever amount of money they feel is appropriate. And these funds are a major source of revenue for the local scout chapter. This again was Guys way of showing what goes around, comes around.

Along with Scouting he was also active with the IBOTS robotic program. Again, his love of teaching gave him the ability to share his enthusiasm for technology and problem solving.

I mentioned Stafford and IBOTS and the Scouts. He was a natural engineer and a natural problem solver. He was the quintessential MacGyver. He brothers told me a story about when he built a ski lift from parts he scavenged from an old car and cement mixer. And his sense of adventure knew no bounds. Reports on the above-mentioned ski lift mention say the trip uphill was faster than the trip downhill. His life is peppered with these kinds of adventures.

With all that Guy did for Stafford, the Scouts and IBOTS he did even more for his own family. He believed charity starts at home. He was always available to help or support any family member, in whatever way he could. Be it his kids, his wife, or his siblings. In April he went to Florida and helped his sister reroof her garage. Over the years he made multiple trips across the country to do similar things.

And he didn’t just believe in supporting family members through work projects. He believed in having fun with a capital F. Last June he and the Babb family traveled to Iceland. And after that he made it a point to go on separate trips with his kids. He and Garth traveled to Salem, MA, Sean and he drove to Maine, he and Adam went to FL. And he and Mary went to both DC and Cape Cod. During that time frame he and Chris also went out on the sailboat he bought AFTER his diagnosis. He definitely knew how to squeeze the most out of life.

In October he and Chris drove to Middlebury, VT to attend one of Mary’s Quidditch tournament. And in December he traveled to Buffalo for Karen Mullins’ surprise 50th birthday. And at Christmas, knowing it was his last, Guy went to CT to be with his siblings, mother and other relatives. He gave all he had, right up until the end.

The other day someone told Chris, “They don’t make great men, like him anymore.” Chris thought for a moment and responded with “I think he was in the business of making great men and women.”

I’m going to close with one last story.

I distinctly remember the first time I met Guy. It was 1988 and even though it was over three decades ago I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was standing in Mary’s kitchen and somehow, we got talking about windsurfing. He told me about a day he spent windsurfing. By the end of the day, he was so tired and physically spent that he couldn’t get his board onto his truck. He had to pay a kid five dollars to get his board loaded on the roof rack.

Knowing him the way I do now, this story is so Guy. Over the past 30 years I came appreciate that this is the way Guy tackled every project, task or adventure. He put his entire heart, soul and body into every endeavor.

God. Here’s five bucks. Please help Guy get into Heaven. He put everything he had into living life to the fullest and fighting the cancer. He has earned his place there, but he may be too worn out to make the trip himself.

Guy Minor Babb Nov. 1, 1965, to Jan. 8, 2022

family

About the author

Jack Nanuq

Mr. Nanuq makes his living as a Private Investigator, hence the avatar and pen name.

Author of “Parabellum; When you Live in Peace, prepare for War”

JackNanuq.com

Writes, just for the hell of it.

Enjoys walks in the woods, with a chainsaw

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