Hugh Babb (1928-2017)

It is with great sadness that I deliver the news of the passing of Hugh Babb. He has been a member of the Babb Family Association as far back as I can remember and it was he and I and his daughter Brenda who hatched the scheme to rescue the 1787 Seth Babb Homestead. He cheered me on through every step and encouraged me, gave funds, scavenged other family members for participation and even helped us find our builder. It was him who told me of the opportunity for its current location. He was my champion, my advocate and my friend.

It is easy to forget the dire situation the homestead was in back in 2004, so I’ve included some before and after pictures to remind you. They are taken from approximately the same position.

2004 Babb Family Association Reunion (130)-Appledore  2004 Babb Family Association Reunion (139)  _MG_0037  _MG_0004

I’m privileged to have known him and will miss him greatly. He passed away, yesterday morning (02 Aug 2017), just one week after his 89th birthday. He is preceded in death by his wife Anne. He is survived by his two daughters and three grandchildren (Brenda McCroskey, Kathy Wust, Jon McCroskey, Eric Wust & Spencer Wust. He has a exceedingly large extended family.

2004 Babb Family Association Reunion (218)I’ll leave you with two pictures of him that I’ve always treasured. The first is of him at our 2004 Babb Family Reunion. He is pictured with Michael & Brenda McCroskey and their son Jon. Hugh was playing the part of Phillip Babb (1-2-2-1) who moved his family to Greene County, (then the state of Franklin) and took up residence just outside of modern day Greeneville. Michael and Jon played the role of Seth Sr. & Seth Jr. (who built the homestead). Brenda (BFA President 2007-2010) was playing the part of Seth Sr.’s wife Mary McClellan.


The second picture is of Hugh laying the first log during the reconstruction of Seth Babb’s Homestead in 2011. It is effectively the cornerstone of the building. You can’t see it in the picture, but he has a giant grin on his face as his lifelong dream was about to come true!

His Obituary Follows:

Obituary for Hugh Babb

Hugh L. Babb, 89, of Kingsport, passed away peacefully on August 2, 2017. Born in Greene County, TN in 1928, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Hugh then married his wife Anne and they celebrated 60 years of marriage in 2013. They made their home in Kingsport where they reared their two daughters. His career spanned over25 years with Mason & Dixon Lines in the Traffic and Logistics department, and he was subsequently employed with the Department of Human Services for the State of Tennessee.
Hugh thoroughly loved life and embraced any and all new adventures. He enjoyed all types of music, was an excellent table tennis player, and taught many of his friends and family to play the game. He liked to run, bicycle, and go to the gym. He joined a drum circle when he was over 80 and attended many sporting and community events throughout his entire life.
He and his late wife Anne were very dedicated to their church family at St. Matthew United Methodist Church for over 50 years. Hugh was always interested in his family genealogy and was the driving force behind the relocation and restoration of his family’s 1790s log home. Today, it is known as the Babb Homestead and sits in downtown Greeneville, TN, adjacent to the Andrew Johnson Historical Site.
He took particular joy in his three grandsons, Eric, Jon, and Spencer.
Mr. Babb was preceded in death by his wife, Anne, his father and mother, Carl and Anna Babb, and brother, Kenneth Babb.
He is survived by his daughters Brenda McCroskey and Katherine Wust, grandsons Eric Wust, Spencer Wust, and Jon McCroskey. Brother-in-law and sister-in-law Frank and Marilyn Cress, sister-in-law Betty Cornett. Several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, August 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Kingsport. The funeral service will follow at 6 p.m. with the Reverend Ray Amos, Jr. and the Reverend Randall Wright officiating.
A graveside service will be held Monday August 7 at 11:30 a.m. at Union Temple United Methodist Church Cemetery, 9930 Kingsport Highway, Greene County, TN. Military Rites will be conducted by American Legion Posts 3/265.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Matthew United Methodist Church, 2505 Nathan Street, Kingsport, TN 37664.


One response to “Hugh Babb (1928-2017)”

  1. Dan, Thank you so much for this beautiful article & tribute to Dad. He was so impressed & appreciative of your enthusiasm , dedication, perseverance, & tireless unbounded energy when it came to researching & preserving the Babb history. Of course, his biggest enthusiasm was without a doubt for the Babb Log Home project. Your vision & subsequent actions allowed Dad to experience an incredible joy – one of the true highlights of his life. Family & friends that visited Dad in the last few years, said he would beam when they asked him about the framed picture of the log home which was prominently displayed in his room. He would then have no ‘lack of words’ when telling them about the relocation & restoration effort. Brenda, Eric, Jon, Spencer & I can never thank you enough.

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