Robert J. Babione
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R.J. Babione, founder of Boca funeral home, dies By Eliot Kleinberg

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Robert J. Babione, who founded his Boca Raton-based funeral home chain four decades ago and turned it into one of the largest in South Florida, died Wednesday, the funeral home said. Mr. Babione had been treated for a heart condition, relatives said.

Mr. Babione, 75, opened the original Babione Funeral Home on North Federal Highway in Boca Raton and added locations west of Boca Raton and in Lantana.

"Mr. Babione was one of the most respected and dedicated professionals in the funeral service in South Florida," Daniel R. Perrin, general manager of Dorsey-E. Earl Smith Funeral Home in suburban Lake Worth and a board member of the Florida Funeral Directors Association, said Thursday.

The Lake Worth native was graduated from Lake Worth High School. After serving in the Korean War, he received a degree in mortuary sciences from the Dallas Institute, then started his career at the Lake Worth Funeral Home, later E. Earl Smith Funeral Home.

He founded Babione in Boca Raton in 1964. He retired in 1986, but remained active in the company and in the community.

"There was barely a week that the society page came out in the paper that Mom and Dad weren't in it," son-in-law Joseph Veccia said.

"Mr. Babione was a pillar of the community," Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams said. "He probably was one of the original founders of just about every club in Boca. And he was involved right up to the end."

Mr. Babione was a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church and was active in numerous groups, including the Sierra Club, Kiwanis Club, American Legion and Elks. He supported various local philanthropies, including the Boca Raton Historical Society, YMCA of Boca Raton, Mae Volen Senior Center, Boca Pops and Boca Raton Community Hospital.

"He was a gentleman that was special in every way," Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce President Mike Arts said. "He supported, and was involved in, every organization, every association, every need in this community."

Mr. Babione is survived by Helen, his wife of 54 years, and daughters Kathryn Rogers, Phyllis Haggerty and Patricia Ashley Babione of Boca Raton; Mary Veccia of Delray Beach; and Jean Babione of Palm Beach Gardens. He is also survived by sons Robert Babione Jr. of Lake Worth and Paul Babione of Boca Raton; brother John Babione of Okeechobee; and sister Pauline Neff of Boynton Beach. Mr. Babione had 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation is set for 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Babione Funeral Home east chapel, 1100 North Federal Highway, with a wake set for 7 p.m. Sunday.

A funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.

Relatives have requested people donate to the charity of their choice rather than sending flowers.
Published in The Palm Beach Post on Aug. 5, 2004.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
36 entries
April 21, 2008
sorry about your loss
Christen shaughnessy
March 31, 2008
To the family of Mr. Babione,

You have my deepest sympathy for the lost of your loved one. Please take comfort from God's word the bible - Psalms 23. It will give you the peace that is due you in this time of your lost.

Take care and best wishes.

Lisa Williams
January 16, 2008
I attended mortuary school in the 1980's in Boca Raton, FL. I met the Babione Family as part of our training. My sympathy to his family.

John Greco
Greco Hertnick Funeral Home
Weirton, WV
John Greco
June 13, 2007
Dear Kathy and family, i just wanted to offer my condolences for your loss, i was actually a good friend of Kathy when i first moved to Boca Raton when i was 11 yrs old and remember her father well , he was a kind man.

Anthony Markham
Anthony Markham
January 29, 2005
Paul and Jean
I just learned of your lost, it has been many years but I still remember your father, he was a kind man.
Raymond Rouse
January 1, 2005
your loved by family and neighbors.
kita, aly and paul d,r,b
October 17, 2004
The Babione household was always a busy and happy one!- twirling with Mary for so many years in Boca Batons we were always supported by Mr. Babione and his business. My thoughts are prayers have BEEN with you - sorry to wait so long to send my condolences - Marie
Marie Rocheleau
October 14, 2004
I grew up 2 doors down from The Babione family. With fond memories of jumping on the trampoline in the back yard and the little black poodle I am so sad to hear of his death. I remember the Veccia's and Amway and all the fun in between. Hope all is well and my prayers are with the family! Brandi Fitzgerald
Brandi Fitzgerald
October 3, 2004
Our loving thoughts and prayers are with you, Helen, in this loss. Life will have perpetual meaning if the goodness we all learned from Bob, becomes part of us.
Joe and Ann Steckler
September 27, 2004
Bob will certainly be greatly missed by all of his friends and family. He always had a smile for me whenever we crossed paths. My sincere condolences to all of his family.
Peter Arts
September 17, 2004
Mr. Babione touched many lives in many ways. Boca Raton's Promise will certainly never forget his contributions to the children of our community. Godspeed Mr. Babione.
Dale Masker
August 24, 2004
As a Funeral Director in South Florida for many years, all I ever heard about Robert Babione was good. My condolences for your loss and the loss to the community.
Lawrence Clyman
August 22, 2004
Dear Helen and family,
I wish to extend to you prayers from the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. Many of us had an opportunity to work with Bob and were blessed with his gentle spirit and compassion. Needless to say Bob is now experiencing the gentle compassion of God. I know that Bob will continue to be a blessing to all of you in a way he never could before.
God bless...Jeanne Drea OP
Sister Jeanne Drea OP
August 14, 2004
Good Fun memories of earlier times in our "small city". God Bless Helen and all of your family. Lou and Evelyn Somerville
Louis Somerville
August 13, 2004
Dear Mrs.Babione and Family

I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Mr. Babione was a man who always looked for the good in everyone and was considerate of their feelings. A father of seven, a wife, and over the years too many pets to count. And all the time with kids running in and out of the house, he never raised his voice. He was a kind father, a devoted husband and a loyal friend to many. I will sincerely miss him.
Damiana D'Amore-Crawford
August 11, 2004
Thank you to all who left the very touching messages. Our family is very blessed to have had such a wonderful father and we are so comforted to see how many people he touched in his quiet way. Thank you, Mary
Mary Veccia
August 9, 2004
We are so very sad to hear about your loss, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Clark & Laura Stevens
August 8, 2004
To the Babione family, your father was a very gracious and loved man. Kathy and I and friends go back to high school days and I remember Mr. and Mrs. B always as warm and welcoming to their home. He will be missed greatly. Love, Lynn
Lynn Wilderman
August 8, 2004
dear kathy and family
so sorry to hear about the loss
of your dad.i know you will miss
him always.
love lorraine (marsha's sister)
lorraine rousch
August 8, 2004
August 8, 2004
My entire family and I express our deepest sympathies to the entire Babione family. Mr. Babione was a very kind man who was very supportive and caring to our family during our times of need, and we have never forgotten the help that he gave us. I have been a friend of Kathys for many years and observed Mr. Babione as a loving father and well respected member of the community. He will be missed by all. Love, Marsha
Marsha Luis
August 7, 2004
Our most sincere ccondolences to the entire fanmily
Kenneth Carter
August 7, 2004
Mr. Babione was like my second dad. He is one of the most respected people I know.
Mr. Babione and his family will always be a part of my family. I was always inspired by his gentle kindness and spirit. He will be sadly missed very much...
Michele Cariglia
August 7, 2004
The parish of Our Lady of Lourdes extends to Helen and her family our most sincere condolences and the assurance of our prayerful support for her and for them. May their faith be their consolation as they belief that Jesus is the Firstborn from the dead. May Bob rest in peace and be a sainted intercessor for those he awaits with the Lord.
Francis Reardon
August 6, 2004
It was always a pleasure speaking with Mr. B when working at his funeral home.We will miss his smiling face.
Gloria & Norman Ek
August 6, 2004
My heart and prayers go out to Helen and all his love ones.I know he will truly be missed,and always be remembered for his humor,kindness and generosity.Along with his beautiful out look on life.
August 6, 2004
I knew Brother Bob as a member of the Elk's and St. Joan of Arc. He lived the principles of Charity,Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity. His efforts were behind the scene as he wanted no awards.He is an example of how we should live and will be deeply missed. I am blessed by knowing him.
Mike Morris
August 6, 2004
I will miss Bob very much. He was a committee member for me when I was Exalted Ruler at the Boca Raton Elk's Lodge.
August 6, 2004
Dear Helen
Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you grieve. Bob touched more lives than he could ever know. He will be greatly missed by our church and community. With love
Judy & Larry Williams
August 6, 2004
I married into the Bates family and I must say that I have never felt so welcome as I did by Helen and Bob. He was a quiet man that you always knew you could count on. He was never to busy to talk to you. I did't stay in touch but I will say he will be sadly missed. My condolences to Helen and his family. I wish I had taken the time to tell him how much I appreciated all he and Helen did for me. I am proud to have known him. He is a great man, and will leave a big hole in everyones lives that he touch.
Lynn Gowgil
August 6, 2004
Our sympathies to your family. We are good friends of your relative Ken Carter, and his wife Sue.
Conrad & Pat Cox
August 6, 2004
I am very saddened by the news of Bob Babione's death. I rememeber him as a man who, along with his dear wife Helen, was very supportive of the Carmelite Fathers in Boca Raton. His passing is a great loss to us.
My sincere condolences and assurance of prayer go out to Helen and all the family. May he rest in peace.
Fr. Raymond Maher
August 6, 2004
He was a good friend and I will miss him. We used to have lunch at the Elks almost every day and shared many a laugh. Chris
Chris Kraft
August 6, 2004
August 6, 2004
Lisa& Teri Gowgil-Gerometta-Cottrell
August 6, 2004
Condolences to the entire family. Bob was a mentor for me and I am honoured to have known him and work with him.
Joe Jodrey
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