James David "Jim" Babbitt

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Babbitt, James David
James "Jim" David Babbitt passed away peacefully August 29, 2013. He is survived by his wife Marge; children Susan Babbitt, James Babbitt Jr., Mark (Melanie) Tabor, Chris (Teena) Tabor, Nancy Tabor; sisters Rosemary Babbitt, Catherine B. Ramsey, Margaret B. Charles; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many other family members and friends who all dearly love him and will miss him. He was preceded in death by his parents Raymond G. and Rose Walsh Babbitt; his first wife Alice C. Babbitt; and his brothers Raymond G. "Ted" Babbitt and David W. Babbitt. Jim was born June 17, 1924 in California. He grew up in Northern Arizona, enjoying the small town life of Flagstaff prior to WWII. When the war broke out, he enlisted and became a fighter pilot for three years, flying the P-47 single engine plane across Europe. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters. After the war, he came home and worked for Babbitt Brothers Trading Company for several years before being offered a position at the first Ford dealership in Arizona owned by his uncle, E.D. Babbitt. In 1965, he bought the dealership. For the past 25 years, he has partnered in the business with one of his closest, most valued and trusted friends, Alan Chan. Jim and Marge were on site the very day that the dealership celebrated its centennial anniversary on December 12, 2012. This was a moment of incredible pride for Jim. He also spent many years on the Board of Directors for the Babbitt Ranches, another enterprise he held close to his heart. He continued to enjoy his association with the ranches and with the president, William C. "Billy" Cordasco, whom he cared for deeply. Jim was an avid outdoorsman who loved the ranching business, fishing, hunting and skiing. He enjoyed travelling, especially to Mexico and Hawaii. Jim will be remembered by those who knew him best as a fine, quiet, compassionate man with a keen sense of humor and fun. He was a man who savored every moment life had to offer and was extremely grateful to God for his family and friends. A memorial service celebrating the life of this remarkable man will be held on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Elks Lodge in Flagstaff, AZ. Casual or Hawaiian attire is optional. In lieu of flowers, the fam
ily suggests donations be made to one of Jim's favorite organizations, the local Marine League Charities for either Toys for Tots or Wounded Warriors of AZ, P.O. Box 127, Flagstaff, AZ 86002-0127.

Published in The Arizona Republic from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, 2013
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