Harold R. Babcock, Jr., 79, of Albion, NE, passed away, Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at the Good Samaritan Society – Wolf Memorial Home in Albion, NE.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at the United Methodist Church of Albion, NE, with Rev. Janet Burgel officiating. Burial will be at Dublin Cemetery in Primrose, NE with military rites by American Legion Post 162 and VFW Post 736 of Albion, NE and the American Legion Riders. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Monday at Levander Funeral Home in Albion, NE.
Memorials are suggested to the Albion United Methodist Church Door Fund or Good Samaritan Society-Albion.
Harold Raymond Babcock Jr. was born on the family farm, known as the Kinnier Place, 3 ½ miles northwest of Primrose, Nebraska, on June 15, 1937, to Harold Raymond Babcock Sr., and Vera Louise (Fenton) Babcock. Harold joined one sister, Carol Ann, who was 4 years, 9 months old at the time of his birth. When he was 10 months old, the family moved to a farm 4 ½ miles northwest of Primrose, owned by his Grandmother Ora, which was located just across the county line in Greeley County. Harold was baptized at the Primrose Presbyterian Church in Primrose, NE, and confirmed in the Methodist faith at the Albion United Methodist Church in Albion, NE. He received his elementary school education at District 63/87 which was located on the Boone/Greeley County line on Highway 91 from first grade through March of his fourth grade year. In March of 1946, the family moved to a farm two miles east of Albion, Nebraska and Harold continued his elementary education District 49 school through the eighth grade. He attended high school at Albion High School and graduated from there in 1955.
On January 11, 1956 Harold enlisted in the United States Army and received his basic training at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas. Following his basic training, he was then stationed in New Jersey at an anti-aircraft silo where he became a clerk, as he was the only one who could type. Harold was honorably discharged on October 10, 1957 so he could come home and help his dad with the fall harvest. Harold had always been interested in airplanes and aviation, and used his G.I. Bill to pay for his training in single engine, dual engine, and helicopter aviation.
Harold was a member of Rural Youth and loved to square dance. He flew to many places across the U.S., including many places in Nebraska to square dance. Harold loved animals and always had a farm dog, as well as many outside cats and several inside cats. He ran a Grade B dairy in the 1960’s, but when guidelines from the Ag Department became so restrictive, he gave up his dairy operation, and raised Angus beef cattle.
In 1985, at a square dance in Oakdale, NE, he met Shirley (Crews) Hestekind. On May 12, 1990, he was united in marriage to Shirley by Pastor Dale Howard at the Albion United Methodist Church. Following their marriage, Harold’s folks moved into Albion and he and Shirley set up housekeeping on the family farm.
Harold was a man of integrity, and loved flying, square dancing, animals, and farming. He was a member of the Beaver Valley Flying Club, The National Geographic Society since the 1950’s, and the Albion United Methodist Church, where he had been a member for over 70 years as well as serving as a head usher there for many years. In 2005, Harold had to quit flying when he had a stint put in his heart and the F.A.A. revoked his pilot’s license, and on December 17, 2016, he entered the Good Samaritan Center in Albion.
Harold is survived by his sister: Carol Buckles of Albion, NE; two nieces: Cheryl (Barry) Buckles of Dallas, TX, and Diana Buckles of Houston, TX; five great-nieces and great-nephews: Ben Papermaster of Dallas, TX; Ariel Papermaster of Santa Monica, CA; Zack Papermaster of Dallas, TX; Kelly (Nick) Herndon of Houston, TX; Brett Babcock (Sheila) Schultz of Hampton, VA; one great-great-niece: Lauri Herndon of Houston, TX; three great-great-nephews: Luke Herndon of Houston, TX; Kellan Schultz of Hampton, VA; Keagan Schultz of Hampton, VA; as well as many friends made throughout his lifetime.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; wife Shirley, whom he lost to cancer on January 4, 2017; one brother-in-law: Kenneth Buckles; and one niece: Lauri Schultz.