Stories of the ancestors of Dan Babish and Irene Stoppiello

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

My father was John Joseph Babish.  He was born November 23, 1916, in Omaha, Nebraska and died October 20, 1985, in Lakewood, New Jersey.  His parents were Pietro Tommasso Butera (b. 1892, d. unknown) and Sophie Wiktorija Babiarz (b. 1890, d. 1953).  He was known by his given name Libero Butera until his mother left Omaha with him for Pennsylvania in 1922 to escape an abusive marriage.  From that point on he was known as John Babish.  He legally changed his name in 1940.

Here is the earliest picture I have of my father.  My grandmother marked it on the back sometime later.  Note how she calls him John Babish, even though the picture was presumably taken in Omaha in 1917 when he was still Libero Butera.  I can't figure out whether she intended the date to read, July 18, 1937, or July 18, 1917, which is when my father would have been eight months old.  Perhaps she was writing on the photo in 1937, and mistakenly wrote that year.

This is a picture of my father and grandmother.  It is marked on the back, "9 yeares [sic] old John Babish," in my grandmother's handwriting.  This was taken when they were living in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, the town in which my father lived while growing up.

This is John Babish in his army uniform.  It is stamped on the back, November, 1938 or 9 (the last digit of the year is not clear).   John served in the U.S. Army from October 25, 1937 until March 15, 1940.  He spent World War II working in war related industries in New Jersey.

This is a picture of my father taken in July 1940.  It is marked, "Avon-by-the-Sea," on the back.  He and my mother, Grace (Hamill) Babish, had been married about seven months when the photo was taken.

The final picture is my mother and father taken in May, 1983, near their retirement home in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Source: Babish Family Photographs original photographs; privately held by Daniel Babish, Columbia, Maryland, 2013.

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