Gene Arlow Babbitt, 87, peacefully passed away of natural causes at home surrounded by loved ones. Gene was born on December 6, 1933, to Clarence and Anna Babbitt. His family moved to Idaho when he was a year old. He graduated from Nampa High School in 1952 where he met the love of his life, Freda Higgins. They were married August 10, 1952, and soon welcomed a daughter, Kathy, and a son, Carl. Inseparable throughout the years, they shared life’s adventures and in August celebrated their 69th Anniversary.
Gene had a mechanical aptitude that was a driving force for his career in the Air Force for 10 years, then as an aircraft mechanic for the Idaho Air National Guard. He had a lifelong love of airplanes, owning 2 prop planes. He was recognized by family and friends as an expert in fixing mechanical issues and building construction projects. He freely shared his knowledge with his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and others. He had an uncompromising work ethic which he passed on to both of his children. He owned multiple cars over the years, motorcycles, boats, ATVs, and Jeeps and was still riding his ATVs and driving his Jeeps.
During his years serving the Idaho Air National Guard, they had a farm in Meridian, Idaho. After his retirement in 1979, he got his real estate license. After Freda’s retirement, they became snowbirds and purchased property in Quartzsite, Arizona in 1983 and spent winters there. They were rockhounds and shared their love of rocks and silver smithing to school children and in news coverage. Gene would cut the rocks and Freda would polish and silver smith them into beautiful jewelry. In 2004, they purchased a cabin above Banks, Idaho.
They spent their time with family and the friends they made wherever they went. They traveled throughout the United States and visited other countries. Gene is known and dearly loved for his dry sense of humor and fondness for teasing his grandchildren. His grandchildren relied on him for advice.
Gene is survived by his wife, Freda E. L. Babbitt; children Kathy Drury-Bogle (Dick Bogle) and Carl Babbitt (Deborah); 9 grandchildren Patricia Pace (James), Carla Laird, Michelle Tripp (Ruben), Rick Wroblewski (Kelly), Greg Bogle (Kristina), Michael Drury (Jenny), Jennifer Bergstrom (Jason), Nikki Allen, Summer Johnson (Nate); 23 great grandchildren; brother, Cliff Babbitt and sisters, Gloria Myers and JoJene Landon.
A celebration of his life is being planned for spring 2022, as soon as the snow melts at the Banks cabin. We will be sharing our memories of a long life well lived. Please share your memories of Gene at www. cremationsociety-idaho.com.
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