John Babcock

John Babcock

John E. Babcock of Plainwell passed away Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Kalamazoo.

John was born January 8, 1932 in Hope Township, Michigan, the son of Kenneth and Ora (Hine) Babcock. After graduating from Middleville High School he enlisted in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Corporal while serving his country.  He was retired from James River Paper Company in Kalamazoo. On August 30, 1952 he married Ollie “May” Martin, she preceded him in death on February 15, 2014. May and John loved children and were foster parents to over 100 children over the years.  He enjoyed traveling and camping, which often involved his other interest which was cross country motorcycle racing.  John was a member of the Ring City Road Runners of Hastings and spent as much time as he could spare riding his Harley.

Survivors include his children, Dan Julien of Kalamazoo, Danny Babcock of Plainwell, Cindy Liska of Portage, Deb Babcock of Pontiac and Tim Babcock of Plainwell; 14 grandchildren, great grandchildren, his sister Jane (Bob) Groscost, sister in law Lora Babcock, many nieces and nephews, and his special friend and caregiver, Orin Armintrout. In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his brother Dean.

Friends may visit with his family 5:00 – 7:00 pm Friday, April 7, 2017   at the Winkel Funeral Home.  Funeral Services will be held  at 11:00 am on Saturday  at the Winkel Funeral Home.  Private interment will take place at Union Cemetery, Lacy, Michigan. Memorial Donations may be made to the  Development Office, 1608 Lake Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49001 to assist children in the Foster Care System. Messages of condolence may be posted at             

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Bill & Sherry Harrison says:

    John will be missed He had a heart of gold Bill would catch fish and clean them and take to John he was happy to get fresh gills . Of course you didn’t just dropped them off John had many stories to tell while you were there Prayers to all the family during this difficult time .

  2. Elise Crofoot says:

    Uncle John, I still have your message on my answering machine so I can listen to your voice. You and Aunt May were such a big part of my childhood. Thank you again for being there when I was a child without a voice. I know you will be missed.

  3. Lori Christiansen Barrett says:

    Uncle John, you will be missed dearly. You and Aunt May were such an inspiration and just wonderful people. I’m reassured by the fact that you are now reunited in heaven, along with my dad, aunts and grandparents. Hug each other for us like we will be hugging the “kids” in our hearts when we are apart.
    May the family feel God’s comfort at this time, and in the words of Aunt May “keep looking up”. We will see you again someday.
    love, Lori and boys

  4. Sandra Simmons says:

    Uncle John you will be missed by so many. I have many memories of my times spent with you and Aunt May as a child and after.

  5. Charlene( Bellingham) Armintrout says:

    I am sorry to hear of John’s passing. We went to Shultz school years ago and he came to visit In the last year or so. My prayers are with the family and friends. Charlene

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