Kenneth J. Babbitt
1936 - 2020

The Babbitt family and our community have lost a cherished member.

Ken Babbitt was born in Los Angeles on August 9,1936, the eldest of six children of Paul J. and Frances Perry Babbitt: Bruce (Hattie), Paul (Mary), Charles (Eleanor), Jim (Helene) and Christine. Ken came to Flagstaff with his family in 1945. He graduated from Saint Anthony's Academy, Flagstaff High School and Regis University in Denver. Ken loved to ski and was a ski team member in high school and college. Upon graduation, he went to work as an accountant in the general offices of Babbitt Brothers.

Ken, along with his boyhood friend, Paul Sweitzer, enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Ken served aboard the destroyer escort U.S.S. Forrester in the South Pacific. During his tour of duty he and his shipmates witnessed some of the first atomic bomb tests near Bikini Atoll. Radiation exposure from those tests left Ken and many other sailors with lifelong health problems. For many years he was a proud member of the National Association of Atomic Veterans, a group formed to support and advocate for military members.

After his military service Ken returned to Flagstaff to work in the family company's wholesale division. He had many friends in the building and construction trades. He was also very active in Nativity Catholic Church, becoming a deacon in later years.

Ken lived simply, was generous to a fault, and had an unforgettable and sometimes inscrutable sense of humor. He had a huge heart and was always looking out for the less fortunate among us.

He volunteered at the Flagstaff Family Food Center, and provided many families with lodging and transportation assistance.

Ken happily lived the last ten years of his life at The Peaks where he was warmly cared for. For more than six years his constant caretakers were Missy Ivey and her dog Ping.

Ken's was the essence of a life lived for others.

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Published by Arizona Daily Sun on Nov. 22, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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21 Entries
Ken was a true friend .I worked directly with ken back in the 70s and 80s at Babbitts Wholesale.Quiet and a joy to work wiith .Never a day without a smile.Was aware of is Navel backround in the Pacific .He was always quietly working to resolve the health problems with his Navy Shipmates .Never once complained !! A true American ! Finally Gretchen And i could never thank him enough for a very small loan that he gave us so we could afford a downpayment on our first and only home in Flagstaff.what a wonderful guy .I will Remember always as a guy with a Heart of gold .MY family and I mourn his passing!! Jim Ranke Erik & Bruce .Gretchen sadly passed away several years ago!
Jim Ranke
December 3, 2020
So sorry to hear Ken is no longer with us. He was a very kind and gentle soul. I always ejoyed talking with him about his train travels to Denver.
Linda and James Muns
November 30, 2020
We are saddened by the recent passing of Ken Babbitt. 10 years ago my mom moved to The Peaks and we always enjoyed chatting with a kind man who we affectionately called Uncle Woodeye. We are certain Ken is now in Heaven and know his sweet spirt will live on there. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Karen Pendley Harkey
November 29, 2020
Sorry for your loss..I loved taking of Ken and was delighted when he came and said hi to me at Fry's..I loved his great sense of humor..
Shannon Bowen
November 29, 2020
Sorry for your Loss may the God of comfort be with you and your family at this time
November 28, 2020
Sorry for your Loss may the God of comfort be with you and your family at this time Act 24:15
November 28, 2020
Sorry for your Loss may the God of comfort be with you and your family at this time
November 28, 2020
Sorry for your Loss may the God of comfort be with you and your family at this time.act 24:15
November 28, 2020
Sorry for your Loss may the God of comfort be with you and your family at this time.act 24:15
November 28, 2020
Ken was a gentle spirit, and Flagstaff was a better place because of him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
Joe & Sandy Engelke
November 26, 2020
It was always a joy to see Ken and Missy together. Ken was very kind and always brought a smile to my face when he came around. He will be missed, and my deepest condolences to the Babbitt family.
November 24, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the Babbitt Family on the death of Kenneth. May he rest in peace in God's Loving arms. Prayers for Ken and all the family
Srs. Augustine & Elizabeth IBVM Loreto
November 23, 2020
Ken was a treasured older cousin! His kindness was evident always. We will truly miss him and his gentle ways.
Meg Bilby Crossman
November 23, 2020
God speed Ken, Fair winds and following seas for the Babbitt family.
John McLaughlin, DDS
November 23, 2020
I remember Kenneth from long ago. I started St Anthonys school with his brother, Paul in 1946. The Ashleys had three kids in the school at the time, Francis,Madeline and me is close to the Babbitts. We had great times with them and I can remember shoveling snow at the church. Time has taken me away from Flagstaff but I remember Kenneth as the older brother. It was such great times so long ago. We send our condolences.
Howard Ashley
November 23, 2020
Ken was one of the finest gentleman I have ever known. Truly a blessed soul
Kay Kappas Peterson
November 22, 2020
Tom Kirshbaum
November 22, 2020
Where to start? I didn't know Ken very well at all, but I own the Babbitt House on Leroux Street... After I bought it Ken would stop by with Missy and he would tell me stories of growing up in the house, sledding off of the roof, and other stories. Always a bright shining star when I saw him. I am so proud to be the owner of the home he and his siblings grew up in, and will always take care of it... Heck I don't even truly consider myself the owner, just someone holding onto and preserving the fantastic energy left by an amazing family of people who have done so much good. When I look at the steamer trunks left by the Babbitts and the other things they've gifted me, my imagination often wanders to all of the incredible stories and experiences they've had.
Ben Bethel
November 22, 2020
I will miss Ken very much. Sorry for your loss. I got know Ken Missy and Ping very well .
Julie McGaugh
November 22, 2020
Ken was a great friend who was always ready to help. I had the privilege of knowing him and working with him at parish council. I know he is still working hard in heaven God bless you Ken
Jesse Dominguez
November 22, 2020
Our Prayers go out to the Babbitt family! Corky has known Ken growing up with him in Flagstaff. I have known him since 1968. Really got to know him at the Peaks! He came to Bingo. He added alot of fun. When I said I - 17 he would say Interstate 17 to Phx. He would say roads from New Mexico,Calif all over. If Corky didn't go with me he would say I want to see Corky. He never forgot our name. Will miss him! Corky,Bobbie Baca
Corky & Bobbie Baca
November 22, 2020