Saturday, January 31, 2009

Edmour Joseph Babineau 1916 - 2009

Edmour Joseph Babineau, 92, of Savannah passed away peacefully on Friday, January 23rd at Riverview Nursing Home, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on April 25, 1916 to Judith and Edward “Red” Babineau who preceeded him in death. While still a toddler, he and his parents moved to New Brunswick, Canada and returned to New Bedford several years later where he followed his father into the plumbing and pipefitting trade. During World War II, he first served as bayonet instructor at Ft. Benning, GA before seeing combat action in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany with the 45th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. During the amphibious landings at Anzio, he commanded a small group of soldiers, and did not lose a single man. His bravery and flawless French soon secured him a reconnaissance assignment and translation duties where he excelled, eventually earning him two purple hearts and Staff Sargent rank.

After the war, he returned to Massachusetts where he married Beatrice Elena Cieri and settled in Everett, Massachusetts where his only child, Denise Marie Babineau was born. After the war, he worked for Boston Gas Company, where his favorite memory was of building Julia Child’s first demonstration kitchen. His charm and facility with the French language soon made him her favorite technician, and he shared many wonderful meals with her. In 1953, he and his wife purchased Clearwater Inn on the shores of Lake Sunapee, NH, which they operated for 25 years. The role of Innkeeper and Host was tailor-made for Eddie, who was the quintessential “people person.” During his time as Innkeeper, he also was a fishing guide and wrote a regular fishing column for the Boston Globe newspaper which he illustrated with his own photographs. Some of his photographs were used by the State of New Hampshire in their marketing materials.

After his retirement, he and Bea followed their daughter to California in 1980 where the light of his life, his beloved granddaughter Elisabeth was born in 1990. During his 18 years in California, he and Bea traveled via motorhome throughout all 48 continental states, every province of Canada and Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Traveling was one of his passions.

In 1997, he moved to Savannah, Georgia with his wife, daughter and granddaughter where he cherished his time with his family and made new friends and became a communicant at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church. He was an active member of the St. Francis Cabrini’s Primetimers, DAV, VFW, San Jose Grandmothers and Grandfathers Club, Savannah Italian Club and the Knights of Columbus. He was preceeded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Beatrice, and his parents. He is survived by his only daughter and granddaughter, Denise and Elisabeth Norman of Savannah, his brothers Gerard and wife Joan Babineau of Rochester, MA, Leonard and wife Francine Babineau of York, PA and Daytona Beach, FL, his sister Anita and husband Conrad Bernier of Rochester, MA, and many loving godchildren, nieces and nephews. His charm, intellect and sense of humor will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

In lieu of flowers, a remembrance may be sent to: Ed and Bea Babineau Memorial Fund, St. Mary Magdalene Church, 1625 Fort Howard Rd., Rincon, GA 31326

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