Community Celebrates Babbie’s Birthday

photo by Hal Gray
Marion Babbie stands to chat with three-year-old well-wisher Esme Karp, daughter of Emily Maclure and Evan Karp. Joyce Slayton Mitchell (far left) is helping with the banner marking Marion’s 102nd birthday.

by Hal Gray

GREENSBORO – Some of Marion Babbie’s many friends celebrated her 102nd birthday on May 6, by serenading her with “Happy Birthday” outside her room at the Craftsbury Community Care Center, to which she moved last year.

photo by Hal Gray
The children of Craftsbury Saplings in East Craftsbury wished Marion Babbie a happy 102nd birthday on May 6 at the Craftsbury Community Care Center with cards, songs, and a blooming flower they grew in the classroom. Executive Director Melissa Jacobs is standing second from the right. Craftsbury Saplings is a community childcare and preschool program for families in greater Craftsbury.

The gathering reflected Greensboro’s affection for Babbie after her over 15 years at the Lauredon Village Apartments in Greensboro. She grew up in Stowe and has also lived in Hawaii, where she looked after Aaron, son of her son Earl, who was teaching at the University of Hawaii and who is now Campbell Professor Emeritus in Behavioral Sciences of California’s Chapman University. After moving to California, Babbie became very active in The Order of the Eastern Star, related to the Masonic Fraternity.

photos by Hal Gray
Friends gather to wish a happy 102nd birthday to Marion Babbie (seated far right, outside her Craftsbury Community Care Center room).

She is a first cousin of noted Greensboro horticulturist and author Lewis Hill and she wanted to return to Vermont.

Babbie is known locally for her oil paintings, particularly landscapes, which she has sold. She is also a fabulous knitter of mittens and prayer shawls for people in ill health. Her skill on the sewing machine has allowed her to make her own clothes. And her banana bread is to die for, according to some. Outside her home she has been active in the community, serving for several years as a docent at the Greensboro Historical Society, where a special chair had been set aside for her. She has also been an active member of the Greensboro United Church of Christ, where she has regularly helped with the monthly newsletter, the Ladies’ Christmas Luncheon, and other tasks.

She has been a regular member of Greensboro’s Bone Builders exercise group and she likes to walk a lot. With the coming of warmer weather, she expects to resume her outdoor walking. The weather cooperated on her birthday and Babbie sat outside, where she showed her appreciation for the singers outside her door.