GOLF PRO REMEMBERED..
Ron Babcock (centre) is being mourned by golfers across Muskoka this week after his passing at an Orillia hospital last week at the age of 77. (Submitted photo)
Golfers across the region paid their final respects last week to a Bracebridge golf pro remembered for his illuminating spirit.
Ronald Arthur “Ron” Babcock, a familiar face for many at the Muskoka Highlands golf club, passed away peacefully last week in Orillia at the age of 77. Speaking to this newspaper just one day before Babcock’s funeral was held on Friday, Feb. 15, club president Don Mackay said his positive spirit and demeanor was what he remembers most about the avid golfer.
“You couldn’t meet anybody more positive than Ron, even when he was sick it was ‘how are you doing?’ It sounded the same as if he wasn’t sick,” he said. “It was infectious, everybody that walked in loved to talk to him because he was a golf pro and a nice person, and a first point of contact is critical for us. Ron provided that over the years with us.”
Babcock had worked at Muskoka Highlands for four years before retiring in 2000.
“Then he just played golf,” Mackay said. “He just played golf for fun.”
Babcock played golf at Muskoka Highlands every week throughout 2012. He also ended up playing his final golf tournament there this past fall with his two sons. Aptly named the Ron Babcock Fall Classic, Mackay says the two-man scramble tournament will now be renamed the Ron Babcock Memorial Fall Classic.
“It’s a well-attended fall event here at Muskoka Highlands, people from all over the district come and play,” said Mackay.
Babcock’s passing, Mackay said, has also meant the loss of a valued source of golf knowledge in Muskoka.
“He is an old-timer, he was a guy who has been here forever,” said Mackay. “He knows more about golf and what’s gone on here than anybody else.”
Babcock’s funeral was held at the Cavill-Turner Funeral Home in Gravenhurst on Friday, Feb. 15 at the Knox Presbyterian Church in Gravenhurst.
Messages of condolence can be left for Babcock by visiting the funeral home website at cavillfuneralhome.com. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be directed to the dialysis unit at the Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Orillia, or the oncology unit at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge.