Babe Ruth Anderson, 85, of Fayetteville, North Carolina died on Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville.
Babe was born May 1, 1927 in Jefferson County Florida. Raised by his grandfather, his primary aspiration was to join the military. He joined the U.S. Marines initially and then the U.S. Army, where he had a distinguished career for over twenty years.
Many of Babe’s Army buddies affectionately called him “Big Tech.” He walked fast and looked straight ahead. He was often asked the question, “where are you going ‘Big Tech?’ His reply would be, “oh man, I am just moving on.” Babe’s calling was to be a military soldier. He wanted to be a great soldier and he lived up to that expectation. Babe loved his country and the Armed Forces. He also loved his wife Esther, to whom he was married for over fifty years before her death; his children, and his grandchildren.
Babe was a WWII veteran and served in Korea with the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company (Airborne), the only Black Ranger outfit in the history of the U.S. Army. He earned a Purple Heart while serving in Korea.
Under President John F. Kennedy’s Administration, Babe joined a very elite group of special soldiers called Green Berets. These soldiers are highly skilled and trained in areas few soldiers would ever be interested in pursuing. They were trained to endure the toughest of conditions and succeed. They are very highly regarded. The Green Berets became a very real distinction of excellence among Special Forces.
Under the Kennedy Administration, Babe was part of the first team of military advisors sent to Vietnam. The U.S. Special Forces team was sent to organize the Montagnards, known as the mountain people of Vietnam. Babe enjoyed and held a great fondness for the mountain people. He would often recount stories about them. His children enjoyed listening to these stories.
Babe would soon return to Vietnam as a combat soldier. He completed several tours there and earned another Purple Heart while serving there. He retired from Special Forces in 1967.
In 1968, the U.S. State Department hired Babe through its Agency for International Development (AID). He again returned to Vietnam and served until 1972. He subsequently worked for the U.S. Postal Service, from which he also retired.
In later years, Babe was a patient at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville, N.C. where he received excellent care from a dedicated staff. He was preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife Esther, and daughter, Judge Linda Faye Anderson.
Surviving to cherish his memory and legacy are his children Jessina Gray (Jim), Madison, Alabama; James Carlton Arrington (Ruby), Goldsboro, NC; Catherine W. LeBlanc, Fayetteville, NC; Richard A. Watson (Shirley), Los Angeles, CA; Queen Esther Harper (Roosevelt), Philadelphia, PA; Lennie Jean Portis (Lewis), Philadelphia, PA; fifteen grandchildren; sister-in-law Gladys Whitley, other relatives and friends.
Graveside services with full military honors will be held Thursday, January 10, 2012 at 11 AM in the Rockfish Memorial Park, Fayetteville.
Visitation will be held in Goldsboro, North Carolina on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at the New Stoney Hill United Holy Church, 1003 North Poplar Street. The visitation will be from 4 PM - 7 PM with the family present from 6 PM – 7 PM.
The family will receive friends at other times at the residence of his son James Arrington, 114 Friendswoods Drive, Goldsboro. The funeral cortege will depart the Arrington residence at 9 AM Thursday morning.