Leo J Babineau of Lebanon died peacefully surrounded by his three daughters on June 8, 2012. His son was returning to be there, too, but missed the moment of expiration. His wife was enroute from Florida, actually getting airborne at the same instant he died. They took off together, but she was the only one to hit turbulence. He undoubtedly had a much smoother flight.
He was born in the Cleghorn section of Fitchburg, MA, to Canadian French-speaking Alban and Regina (LeBlanc) on August 1, 1927, not learning English until entering first grade. He attended Fitchburg schools, leaving before graduating to join the Navy in 1944, to serve as a discharge yeoman in Norfolk, VA. Later he received his GED and attended night classes at Fitchburg State College, choosing to enter the workforce and start his illustrious business career. He began in the original Aubuchon Hardware with its founder, WE Aubuchon, then joined and eventually became a manager with Holland Furnace Company. In 1960, he became manager of Hildreth’s Hardware, in Lebanon, operating it for his father-in-law, Francis Sargent, taking ownership in 1965. He purchased Ward Amidon Jewelers of Hanover, in 1971, expanding it over the years to two other locations. Throughout those years, he purchased many residential apartment houses, eventually consisting of 50 separate units.
He was married for more than 60 years to Marylin (formerly Sargent) Babineau, his partner in everything he did. She survives him along with his four children, Mary Jane Morse and husband David of West Lebanon, Bill Babineau and his wife Debbie of Lebanon, Judy Anderson and her husband Tim of North Conway, and Karen Albert and her husband Tom of Center Conway. His Grandchildren whom he loved so much, Nick and Kyle Morse, Andrea and Danielle Babineau, Emily and Sam Anderson, and Mabel and Maggie Albert lovingly survive him as well. He is also survived by two sisters, Florence Dauphinais, of Leominster, MA, and Irene Babineau, of Falmouth, MA, and Edgewater, FL. He was predeceased by brothers Raymond, and Edward, and sisters Eva Provencial and Cecile Leger, all of MA.
He was passionate about the game of golf, very proud of his 8 handicap he achieved at Hanover Country Club. He also spent many years and great rounds at Carter Country Club, once runner-up as club champion. He was active in several other sports including swimming, speed skating, and cross country and downhill skiing. He became a registered jeweler and self-taught himself in many subjects. His other avocation was to attend all the sporting events, graduations, and special events of his grandchildren. He will be missed by all who loved him.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, June 13, from 4-7, at Ricker Funeral Home in Lebanon, and Mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, June 14, at 11:00 am, at Sacred Heart Church, High St, Lebanon with reception to follow in the parish hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, Mascoma St, Lebanon, NH.