EAU CLAIRE — Dale Babbitt, 90, of Eau Claire died Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, at home, surrounded by his family, from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Dale Ormal Babbitt was born Feb. 22, 1927 in Keystone, township of Cleveland, Wis., the youngest child of Benjamin and Mabel (Phillips) Babbitt. He graduated from Bloomer High School in 1944 and joined the U.S. Army. He married Mavis Steinmetz in 1946.
In 1947 he became City Clerk of Bloomer and served as the town’s mayor from 1952 to 1954. He worked for, and eventually became president of Chippewa Motor Freight, and later was the general manager of Dotseth Trucking in Knapp.
He became a Master Mason in 1948 and continued to “serve his God, his family, his fellowman, and his country” all his life. He held various leadership roles in the Bloomer and Chippewa Masonic lodges, received the honorary 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite in 1974 and was elected as Deputy of the State of Wisconsin in 1993. Dale led the statewide Masonic effort to establish learning centers for dyslexic children and adults, first in Milwaukee and Madison and then in Eau Claire.
Dale also served on the Board of Directors of both the Shriner’s Hospital in Minneapolis, Minn. and the First National Bank of Chippewa Falls. He was one of the founding parents of the Chippewa Falls Little League and earned the Silver Beaver Award for his work as president of the Chippewa Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a past elder at First Presbyterian Church and a member of the Bloomer post of the American Legion. A gifted tenor, he was often asked to sing at area weddings and funerals.
Dale was preceded in death by an infant son, grandchildren, Betsy and Ben Babbitt; daughter-in-law, Debby Lofthus Babbitt; and 12 siblings, Hazel, Ruth, Lester, Frank, Merle, Lyle, Kenneth, Allen, Irene, Marjorie, Marvin and Benjamin Jr.
He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Mavis; four sons, Barry (Fran) of West Bloomfield, Mich., Steve (Linda) of Parker, Colo., Don of Eau Claire, and Dean (Sue Ann) of Colfax; six grandchildren, Katie (Dan) Guite of Eagan, Minn., Mark (Becky) Babbitt of Parker, Colo., David (Lara) Babbitt of Denver, Colo., James (Sarah) Babbitt of Littleton, Colo., Andrew Babbitt of Menomonie and Blaire (Travis) Babbitt of Chippewa Falls; and five great-grandchildren, Sam and Rachel Guite and Brenden, Mallory and Luke Babbitt.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15, at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, 44 East Columbia St., Chippewa Falls with a Masonic service starting at 7 pm.
A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Friday, Feb. 16 at First Presbyterian Church, 130 West Central Street, Chippewa Falls with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Military honors provided by the Bloomer American Legion will take place after the service at the church, followed by a luncheon.
The family would like to thank Mayo Hospice staff, particularly Nurse Kara and Chaplain Dale, for their special visits during Dale’s last weeks.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to either the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Upper Wisconsin, 616 Graham Ave., Eau Claire, Wis. 54701, online at wicdc.org; or the Community Foundation of Chippewa County, P.O. Box 153, Chippewa Falls, Wis. 54729, online at yourlegacyforever.org.
Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, Chippewa Falls is serving the family.
Visit pedersonvolker.com to express condolences online.