Cover photo for Richard Dean Babin's Obituary
1954 Richard 2024

Richard Dean Babin

November 22, 1954 — April 14, 2024

Born in Spokane WA, on November 22, 1954, went to Jesus on April 14, 2024 Kootenai Hospital CDA, Idaho. 
Richard was born into the Lloyd and Jo Babin family as the youngest child and was loved dearly by his Grandparents Dale Babin, and Ida (Babin) Catlow and Roger and Pearl (Dinkins) Bayer, who he loved right back. He was raised in Spokane at the 8th Ave. family home. Attended Irving Grade School, Lewis and Clark HS, and began the move back to Idaho by attending CDA HS for his junior year, graduating from Wallace HS. 

Richard was known for his teasing, adventure-loving spirit, attention to fire, and travels with Mom while on her job flagging for construction companies. Putting a letter in a bottle with his friend Pat Jamison and buried it under a stump until it was found 40 years later. Gradually getting to the age where he put his job working at the Potlatch Lumber in CDA second to his discovering the western half of the USA. His longtime friend Kent Krone remembers these early years of adventure and shared some of those memories. 

Rich had a childhood of exploring the outdoors and nature. His family had a home along the CDA River in North Idaho. It might have been called an idyllic Tom Sawyer – Huck Finn time. He explored the woods, floated in tubes down the river, picked huckleberries, and hiked to high mountain lakes, to go fishing. Fishing adventures led to fish fries where a frying pan the size of a large beachball was used to cook a batch of sizzling brook trout. In North Idaho, he learned the art and skills of hunting. He adventured as far as Wyoming to hunt antelope when he was 16. He had an early interest in travel. His first big trip with his friend Kent was at 15 to Glacier Park. They traveled in his friend's old 1961 Corvair and stayed in a pup tent. They stopped at Hot Springs, Montana, and the National Bison Range, two locations that he would enjoy and went back to often. In his 20s they drove to Mexico, motorcycled to the Colorado Rockies, hiked to Sierra Chalets in Yosemite National Park, and soaked in primitive hot springs from Canada to Arizona. One memorable hot spring trip was when he rented a boat and boated up the Colorado River where he hiked up a slot canyon to a hot spring snuggled between 200 ft. towering walls. He explored canyons in Utah where he saw 1000-year-old ruins from the early Puebloan culture including pottery shards, corn cobs, and printed hands on canyon walls. He made three trips to Alaska and left two signs with his name and how many miles to Prichard, Idaho it was, on the famous Watson Lake signposts, still seen today. 

After settling down in his 20s, Richard helped his family work in Babin’s Store at Babin’s Junction, where the ice cream cones were famous, along with his huge roasters of soups and chili he gave to customers who enjoyed sitting and chatting. He helped his father, Lloyd, on local construction jobs, worked with the Prichard Volunteer Fire Department, helped his mom, Jo Babin, manage the 35-space campground, and was cheerful with folks who stopped by in their travels through the Coeur d’Alene River area. Richard and Mary Ann Tester were married and had one son, Aaron Richard, in 1988. He was the joy of their lives. Richard’s dog, Jake was a part of the family. The Babin family was like glue holding the community together. The place to find out the news, get emergency supplies, medical or safety help, and the hub of information to travel, fish, or hunt the roads for 40 miles.

 Richard enjoyed his years in the store helping the loggers and miners who depended on the service. In later years, Richard worked for the Idaho State Road Department and the Shoshone County Road crew. He loved his garden, collection of rocks, and all stray cats or dogs that came along. He loved children and was a friend to hundreds who passed along his road in life. He loved to teach his son Aaron to hunt and enjoy the mountains, opening his home to Aaron’s friends and hunters from Georgia and Florida. Richard leaves his son Aaron (wife Kimberly), two granddaughters Ava and Autumn, Aunt Bonnie Stewart, sister Claudia (Randy) Childress, brothers Kenny (Sandy) Babin and Roger Babin, stepchildren Eric, Randy and Gerry Anne Tester and close cousins Randy (Netta)and Greg Babin, Ginny Lonn and Bobbi (Ron) Morrison, numerous nieces, nephews, 25 yr. companion Helen Larsen and other dear friends. There will be a future gathering of remembrances, stories, and antics of Richard who is enjoying eternity with Jesus, and those friends who are already sharing his Forever. Family and friends will be notified of this event and location in mid-June. Richard will be cremated and laid to rest in the Babin Cemetery with Mom Jo, Dad Lloyd, and Best Dog Jake located next to the Prichard Volunteer Firehall at Babin’s Junction.
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