Remembering a great teacher, man in George Babcock


To the editor,

Martin Luther King Jr. once stated: “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.” I cannot think of any other words more appropriate to describe George H. Babcock. There are not too many people within the city of East Providence who did not know George Babcock.

George Babcock was an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to the youth of East Providence. Starting his career as a business teacher at the old Central Junior High School and eventually becoming a guidance counselor at the East Providence High School Career and Technical Center, Mr. Babcock devoted 53 years of service to the city. He genuinely cared about every student he came in contact with and had the pleasure of working with several generations of students from the same family.

Proud to call himself an educator, Mr. Babcock played a pivotal role in negotiating a teachers’ contract with the City of East Providence to insure that teachers were treated and compensated fairly. Few teachers today realize the work he did decades ago. He was also a founding member of the East Providence Teacher’s Credit Union.

Mr. Babcock was also instrumental in developing the Rhode Island Drivers Training program: educating and preparing 16 year olds to take their state permit examination. I would venture to say that Mr. Babcock is responsible for educating thousands of drivers throughout the city and state over his career.

Mr. Babcock displayed a high level of patriotism. A decorated war veteran of the Korean War, he had an intense love for his country. I can remember several instances when Mr. Babcock would call the city administration building asking why the United States flag was not flying at half mast to commemorate important days such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941.

George Babcock was above all a gentleman. The kind of person who held the door open for you. He would greet you in the morning and show a genuine concern in how you were doing.  If you were lucky enough to be a friend of George Babcock, you knew you could count on him for anything.

Sadly, last week (Tuesday, April 16), George Babcock passed away at the age of 82. His loss will be felt throughout the city and certainly throughout the East Providence School Department. George Babcock may not be famous, but he certainly has proved his greatness through his contributions to humanity.

Thank you for being my mentor. Thank you for all you’ve done for the teachers of East Providence. You will always be an example of greatness to me. George Babcock: May you rest in peace with your loved ones and colleagues who were waiting for you.

With admiration, love, and respect,

Richard Silva

Guidance Counselor

East Providence High School Career and Technical Center

George Babcock


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.