A bright, sunny sky, classic tunes and friendly faces set the tone for Mr. Charles “Chuck” Babb’s Celebration of Life memorial on Wednesday, July 22. Colleagues, past students, friends and family joined together on the Florida Pitt Waller grounds to pay tribute to Mr. Babb through song, prayer, stories and readings. A truly one-of-a-kind individual, Charles Babb left his mark on many– through his dedication to students, love for his family, and trust in his colleagues.
During the celebration, many individuals close to Mr. Babb recounted stories and shared how he made a difference in their life and the lives of others.
“Mr. Babb possessed the unique ability to connect with anyone that he encountered with immense authenticity, compassion, and in such a way that you felt like you were one of the most important people in the world while he spoke with you, ” remembered Kayla Grayson-Yizar, colleague and friend of Mr. Babb.
“When I think of my father, the word that comes to mind is legacy. His legacy of honor, hard work, building relationships, and in education. My dad came from very humble beginnings and ended up creating a beautiful legacy. Not only for my son and I, my sister, my nieces and nephews, but for all of us. Sadly, my dad won’t be here to witness his legacy, but all of us have a duty to continue it. […] My father has planted the seeds and it’s up to all of us to water them, cultivate them and continue to grow his legacy,” said Yvonne Jackson, daughter of Mr. Charles Babb.
“He made my day every single day. Me and papa were more than best friends, more than family, he was my best friend-family. He taught me the things that I needed to know about the world,” said PJ Jackson, grandson of Mr. Charles Babb.
“Thank you all for the love and support. Thank you for loving my dad and supporting him. We appreciate all of you,” Charlene McDonald, daughter of Mr. Charles Babb, added.
“He was unstoppable- when he wanted something he went out and got it. He had charisma, he also had kindness. […] He was brave. He was bold. I also want to speak about his service– His service to his country, service to the community, his school and his family,” said Jai Palmer, colleague and friend of Mr. Charles Babb.
“Mr. Babb was not only a principal, but a father figure to everyone he came into contact with. Mr. Babb has gotten not just me, but many others into successful, meaningful paths. […] Looking back on the rules and high expectations that Mr. Babb had for us, I now know that it was to shape us into young, successful men and women,” said Jaylin Rozetta, former student of Mr. Charles Babb.
“In 2007 my life changed, Florida Pitt Waller changed. That was the year that Mr. Babb became our principal. I learned so much from him– trust, love, and high expectations. His relationships were built on trust, there’s not one person here right now that can say they didn’t trust Mr. Babb,” said Veronica Madden, colleague and friend of Mr. Charles Babb.
“I will miss my friend, as I know you will too. We all have happy memories of a guy who cared about us and was sensitive to our needs. Who put us first, as well as our students and parents,” said Mariellen Hoffman, colleague and friend of Mr. Charles Babb.
In addition to hearing the wonderful stories and memories of Mr. Babb, principal of Florida Pitt Waller, Ms. Grayson-Yizar, also unveiled two initiatives to honor his legacy. First, on behalf of Florida Pitt Waller, a scholarship in honor of Mr. Babb. Second, the renaming of the Florida Pitt Waller community room.
As Ms. Grayson-Yizar explained, “Every time Mr. Babb would speak, he would use the term community. We have decided to rename our community room to the Charles M. Babb Community Room in recognition of Mr Babb’s compassionate leadership, his spirit of community, and his outstanding humility in the evolution of Florida Pitt Waller ECE-8 school. We proudly dedicate this community room to Mr. Babb. Mr. Babb was known for his luminous smile, his ability to find the positive in any situation, his relentlessness in reaching students, and most of all, his abundant love for the Denver community.”
The celebration of Mr. Babb continued throughout the day and into the night, coming to a close with the release of a paper lantern into the night sky. And while the day is now over, it is clear that the celebration of Mr. Charles “Chuck” Babb will last long into the future.