May 4, 1932 – August 26, 2023
at the age of 91 years:
Don was born May 4, 1932, in Vancouver, B.C. to John Rowland “Rollie” Babington and Margaret Ann “Peggy” Millar Babington (McClounie). Don was raised in East Vancouver among his English/Scottish extended family, attended Franklin and Templeton schools, and grew up enjoying his grandparents’ place on Deep Cove with his sister & cousin – both named Anne!
Don’s father served overseas during World War II, and soon after his return, the family moved to Wells, B.C., where his parents became partners in the Wells Hotel. These years have become family legend! Miners paid their hotel tabs with gold nuggets.
Don helped in the kitchen and beer parlor after school, fished on Isaac Lake and roamed Barkerville, in the years before it was restored. He kept stories & maintained friendships from his days in Wells, notably with his classmate Ted North.
Don married Joyce King in 1953. They raised their children, Susan and Jeff, in Burnaby and New Westminster, camping at Sandy Point during summers in the 60s, before separating after 21 years together.
Babs worked at B.C. Tel/TELUS for 40 years. He was on the heavy gang, a lineman and installer, before retiring as a field supervisor in 1992. A photo of Don from the ’50s – working high atop a pole on the Hope-Princeton Hwy – hangs in the union offices. An avid golfer and curler, he won several company championships in both sports through the years.
He was a life member of the Royal City Curling Club and golfed into his 80s. He loved the course in Salmon Arm and was a member there. Don shared his love of golf with his beloved Mom, Peggy, and his last partner, Vera Verreault. He loved & cared for Vera until her death in 2021.
“Wanna party? Wanna play?” Don loved to do both. He was an active member of the Elks, Eagles and Royal Canadian Legion Branch #62. He was a regular at the Barley Station Pub. He played cards, crib, Keno and casinos. He followed TV sports and worked jigsaw puzzles, word searches and crosswords in the Province he would faithfully buy from Kayla at the Salmon Arm Co-op.
Salmon Arm was Don’s home for the last three decades of his life. In recent years he was supported by neighbors, Wayne and Randy, Legion buddies including Bill and Connie, Neil and Brian. His friend Wayne Fisher cared for him through this last winter despite his own ill health.
Thanks are due to Dr. Levins, Blane Ready, Shuswap Lodge, Interior Health, SLGH, Kamloops Hospice, and Vince Fischer for their kindness and support.
He is survived by daughter Susan (John) Folinsbee and their son James (Chantal); by son Jeff Babington, his daughters Brianne, Krystle and their families; his McClounie cousins; his sister Anne Stevens and her sons Henry (Terry), Brian (Myra), Scott (Tiffany) and their families.
Don’s family will gather in the fall to remember a man who was — among other things — a wearer of politically incorrect t-shirts & a strong proponent of eating a medium naval orange each morning.