Edward R. Babcock
Husband, Father, Friend and Sportsman
Ed Babcock was born April 22, 1921, around noon in the old farmhouse at the corner of 91st and Dilworth Road.
Ed grew up loving nature and all it had to offer on Vashon Island. As a youngster he raised many types of birds, including ducks, pigeons, bantams, geese, turkeys, Guinea fowl, with many varieties of chickens, and a pet crow for six and a half years. He was truly Vashon born, raised, and happily lived his entire life here.
Ed helped his Dad raise rabbits, pigs, beef cattle, and pheasants. He worked in the berry fields picking logans and raspberries.
Ed related how as a boy, how it was to grow up rural on Vashon. Oh, they had running water, inside plumbing from day one. Electric power, though, didn’t come to their house until 1924. They enjoyed a large wood stove that kept the old farmhouse warm in the coldest winters. The family raised a lot of their own food, meat, berries, vegetables. They home-canned braised beef, chicken, salmon, clams, and the like. It assured them of great meals off season.
Enterprising as a young man Ed would go to the beach and dig clams to sell to Elmer Harmeling who operated the Alibi restaurant in Vashon.
As he grew older, they had to become more self reliant. They played cards or made up their own games, such as sword fern fights, tree climbing, or beachcombing. All the neighborhood kids were always welcome at their house for hot chocolate, apples, nuts, cider or cookies.
Life was about lots of hard work, picking berries, weeding and hoeing, cleaning chicken houses, sawing wood with a crosscut saw, and any other jobs you could find. There were lots of berry fields, pea patches, and the like that harbored many pheasants and quail for excellent hunting in the fall. We learned to respect firearms from our dads and their laws were strict.
Ed graduated from Vashon High School in 1940, and in 1941 went to work for the Boeing Company in Seattle. He was with the Army for awhile, stationed in Augsburg, Germany, then returned to Boeing in a career that lasted 42 ½ years, retiring July 1983.
His Boeing career started with the B-17, followed by the B-29 and B-47, ground to air piloted aircraft, (GAPA), BOMARK missiles, Lunar Rover (Moon Buggy) B-52 Short Range attack missile test program (SRAM), where the SRAM missile was deployed by the B-52.
Ed married Olwen Christine Remmie in October 1950. Chris had a son Jack by a previous marriage, who was later adopted by Edward. After Graduation from Western Washington University in 1966 Jack went on to become Director of Buildings Management for the federal government in Washington D.C.
Ed and Chris together owned and operated the Vashon Bowl for 17 years, closing in 1967. During the 1950s and early ‘60s, the Vashon Bowl was the entertainment center of the island. With men’s leagues bowling Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, women’s leagues on Monday night, and mixed plus junior leagues on Sunday.
The building sold to Carl Holert after 1967, and became the Vashon Auto Freight headquarters. The street end of the building now houses Doug’s Auto repair.
Retiring in 1983, Ed started traveling by motor home with his wife Chris, touring the East Coast in 1984 and then the states with the spectacular brilliant fall colors.
Ed joined the Vashon Sportsmen’s Club in 1942 and became a very interested and active member of the organization for 75 years. Ed was a big proponent of the Vashon Sportsmen’s Club his entire life. He cared about the members and club with dedication and great personal conviction always promoting the positive nature of the sportsmen’s life, with determination to keep the club strong.
Ed was president of the Vashon Sportsmen’s Club four times, in the years 1956, 1973, 1984, and 1992. He was Vashon Sportsman of the year in 1957, 1978 and 2007.
Ed passed away at the age 95 still enjoying his gardening and bird watching, bridge playing and all the other aspects of life, including eating, all the way through his life.
Ed Babcock In Memoriam.wpd Copyright Legacy Media LLC