Russell Cobb Babcock, 95, a life-long resident of Sherman, N.Y. died January 27, 2021. He attended the University of Rochester and Alfred University Extension in Jamestown, N.Y. Russell served active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1943-1946 as SoM3 (Sonarman Third Class), basic training at Sampson, N.Y.; sonar operator school in Key West, Fl. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre, was awarded the Asiatic- Pacific Theatre and American Theatre Ribbons, and Victory Medal. He served aboard the USS Benham (DD-796) and aboard the MS 369 a minesweeper in Pacific Theatre. His years in the Navy took him to Brooklyn Navy Yard, Hawaii, Japan and through the Panama Canal region.
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He married Virginia Mae Newhouse on August 14, 1947. They were married 59 years until Virginia’s passing in 2006. Russell owned and operated a grocery store on Main Street in Sherman, N.Y. with his wife, Virginia. After selling the grocery store, he was a bookkeeper at the Chrysler-Plymouth automobile dealership in Sherman before starting his lengthy career as an Insurance Underwriter first at Jamestown Mutual Insurance and later at Erie Insurance Exchange. In addition, he was the Village Clerk in Sherman for 30 years.
He was part of the Sherman Community Church as an adolescent and young adult. He was a member of Edwards Chapel United Methodist thereafter (~70 years). He was active on the board of trustees, served on the pastor parish & finance committees, and was head usher. Russell contributed his talent playing the baritone for special music programs and supported his wife Virginia who was the long-time musical director at the church.
He played in instrumental bands during high school and was a part of the Company E Volunteer Military Band and the Jamestown Municipal Band (late 1940’s-early 50’s). He had an extensive interest in ‘Big Band’ Era music. He was lucky enough to see such legends as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, and Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey during their prime musical years. Russell enjoyed the grounds and events at the Chautauqua Institute. As a young man, he was a caddy at the golf course and had the opportunity to caddy for celebrities who visited the institution. He was also a bellhop at the Athenaeum Hotel in high school. Through the years he frequently visited the Institute for musical performances, particularly Military Band concerts.
As a young man he participated in roller skating at the rinks in Findley Lake, Corry, Erie, Celeron, and Jamestown. Later in life he would remember and share many fond stories from his years roller skating. Russell enjoyed many family vacations in their travel trailer to see natural and historical sites throughout the US. During their retirement years, he and Virginia took trips with other church couples to New England, the east & west coasts, and other southern US locations. Russell also enjoyed golfing, gardening, and table & board games.
Despite his reserved demeanor, during his prime Russell was quick to smile, laugh, and bring light-hearted humor to experiences and activities with friends and family. Those who knew Russell know that he deeply enjoyed a good laugh. He was committed to his church and community but most of all his family. As a family man, he provided well for day-to-day life as well as for activities such as vacations, camping trips, and birthday & family celebrations. All of these have left the family with fond memories (and many, many happy photos). He enjoyed and treasured the times he had with all of his family members over the years. Russell will be greatly missed. We rejoice that he is now reunited in heaven with Virginia, and many other friends and family members.
Russell is survived by his daughters: Susan (Gary) Barringer of Sherman, Carol (Phil) Parker of Urbana, Ill.; four grandsons: Robert (Rachel) Barringer of Boston, Mass., Michael Barringer of Jamestown, NY, Brian (Vee) Barringer of Dewittville, NY, and Philip Parker of New York, NY; two granddaughters: Jan (Alex) Barringer-Tenchipes of Albuquerque, NM, Kathryn (Peter) Resendiz of Urbana, Ill.; five great grandsons: Andrew (Destinee) Donnell of Albuquerque, NM, Austin (Dee) Donnell of Albuquerque, NM, Charlie Barringer of Dewittville, NY, Noah Resendiz and Gabriel Resendiz of Urbana, Ill.; four great granddaughters: Michaela Barringer of Shelby, NC, Lillie Barringer of Sherman, NY, Nevaeh Barringer of Dewittville, NY, and Grace Resendiz of Urbana, Ill. And two great-great grandchildren: Alizabeth Donnell and Olivia Donnell of Albuquerque, NM.
Russell is preceded in death by his parents: Devillo Maylon Babcock & Ethelyn Cobb Babcock, his wife: Virginia Babcock, and infant son.
A special thanks to Katie Smith of Bemus Point, NY, for providing companionship and caregiving services over the past several years. The family would also like to thank the professionals and staff at Brookdale Assisted Living and Memory Garden at Tanglewood, as well as Heritage Green, for providing comfort and care to Russell during his final years.
A private graveside service officiated by Pastor Paul Sears was held Sunday, January 31, 2021 at the Sherman Cemetery. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made in Russell’s memory to Edwards Chapel UMC, 9227 Cherry Hill Rd, Clymer, NY 14724 or Sherman Volunteer Fire Department, 122 Park St, Sherman, NY 14781.
On-line condolences may be made at larsontimkofuneralhome.com
Arrangements by David J. Dengler, Spitzer Funeral Home, Sherman, N.Y.