Sheepmen lost a staunch supporter with the passing of Gary Babb, 72, into the care of his Shepherd, after losing his battle with cancer.
Born Oct. 3, 1941, to Alvin “Buster” and Linda (Sundstrom) Babb in Sturgis, S.D., he was the only son, “sandwiched” between sisters, Diana and Bonnie. Raised on the family homestead northeast of Newell, he gained a love of open spaces, sheep and cattle that remained throughout his life.
He was a graduate of Newell High School, where he played softball, football (won 15 straight games but lost tournament championship) and basketball, winning the All-Conference Championship. In 1968, after high school, he played softball, winning the South Dakota State Softball Championship.
After graduation, he married Beverly Richards, a union which produced four children. They later divorced.
From raising livestock with his father, shearing throughout the western states, being both a field man and manager of wool warehouses in Salt Lake City (Utah Wool Marketing Association and the Wool Shed) and Belle Fourche (Mid-States Wool and Center of the Nation Wool) and, finally, back to the ranch, most of his life involved sheep. He had a special love for shearers (hard-working men with strong backs), and was a first-class shearer himself, winning contests in various areas.
While working for Utah Wool Marketing Association, he met Lawren Leslie, whom he married in 1980. They remained married until the time he died.
He loved God, family, and his work, and lived a good life. He believed in giving 100 percent in everything he did, and his passing leaves a big hole in all our lives. He was truly one of the “good guys.”