The Scioto Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Babcock Family Fund, a new donor-advised endowment established by Mrs. Joseph Babcock, Jr., a long-time former resident of Portsmouth currently living in Sanibel, Florida.
Barbara (Barb) Babcock has designated the fund to be used for the “betterment of Portsmouth”, according to her grand-daughter-in-law Kelly Babcock, wife of grandson Dr. Taylor Babcock. She has appointed her children and grandchildren as advisors for the fund. They include son Joseph William Babcock and his wife Sue Babcock, along with Taylor and Kelly Babcock.
Although Barb has lived on Sanibel Island for over 30 years, she still remembers Portsmouth and wants it to be the way it was in their early days here, Kelly said.
“She and her friends had a lot of fun at that time and were very involved in Portsmouth activities. She still wants to know what’s happening in Portsmouth and wants to put money into revitalizing Portsmouth,” Kelly explained.
The fund benefitting Portsmouth was something she and her husband Joe Babcock, Jr. discussed right before he died in July 2019, said Kelly, and family members talked about examples of ways the money might be used such as cleaning up the city and other developments that are in the planning stages.
Barb, who is from Cincinnati, met her husband there when Joe attended the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship after he graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1941.
His studies and football career was interrupted in 1943 by the 461st and 484th Bomb Squads. After he was discharged from the U.S. Army, Joe and Barb got married and remained married for 74 years.
Grandson Taylor relates that Barb was responsible for convincing Joe to decide to be an optometrist instead of becoming a football coach. In 1947 he entered The Ohio State University College of Optometry. After graduating from OSU optometry school in 1950, Joe Jr. joined his dad in the Babcock & Babcock practice on Sixth Street in Portsmouth where he remained until 1995 when he and Barb moved to Florida.
After moving to Portsmouth, Barb became very involved in the community, especially in activities involving the arts. Trained as a graphic designer, she used her talents in many ways. Among other numerous projects, she illustrated Dr. Herbert Bertram’s book of stories about growing up in Kentucky and created one hundred Trojan helmets for Portsmouth fans cheering the 1961 PHS basketball team to a state championship in 1961. Often she and her artist friend Kate Bader would go out to paint local scenes, according to her son Joe.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Barb worked on community art projects with the Portsmouth Area Arts Council, including annual Boneyfiddle Fairs designed to attract attention to Portsmouth’s oldest area and encourage historic preservation. Later with business partner Janet Frowine, she operated an antique shop on Sixth Street for many years. Her creative talents came naturally; her father was an architect who designed the Kroger Building in Cincinnati, Joe said.
Barb was also instrumental in the creation of Mercy Hospital and was active with the Coterie Club hospital auxiliary and the Portsmouth Sister City organization. She was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church. She and her husband raised four children.
Contributions to the Babcock Family Fund may be made by family, friends and the general public in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property at any time. Further information about endowment funds or other Scioto Foundation planned giving opportunities may be obtained by contacting Program Director – Donor Services Patty Tennant at the SF office, (740) 354-4612, or by emailing [email protected]
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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