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Obituary of Stephen L. Babcock
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Stephen Louis Babcock, age 78, of Hornell NY, departed this life peacefully on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. He was surrounded by his family and in the loving arms of his wife of fifty-seven years, Marie, when the Lord came to take his hand. Steve was born June 25, 1942 in Hornell NY to Louis and Helen (Dexter) Babcock. He was the eldest of three brothers and graduated from Hornell High School in 1960 where he was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball. Steve continued his athletic career at SUNY Brockport where he was quarterback of the football team beginning his freshman year and pursued his love of coaching and athletics. It is there that he met the love of his life and later returned to the Hornell area to raise his family. Steve began his coaching career in 1967 at Hudson Valley Community College and joined the faculty of Alfred State College as an instructor in Health and Physical Education. He also served as head wrestling coach and coached cross country and tennis. During his 29 years at Alfred he founded the modern-day Alfred Intramural Program with the “President's Trophy,” developed and implemented the first Health and Physical Education Majors Transfer Program, and founded the Alfred Summer Sports Festival Program. He was chair of various Region III sports committees and served as President of the Penn-York Conference. Steve served as Director of Athletics from 1987 to 1995. In 1994 Steve fulfilled a professional dream of bringing football to Alfred State and successfully recruited legendary coach Lou Saban to serve as the program’s inaugural coach. Steve was named the 1980 Region III Wrestling Coach of the Decade and was a member of two coaching Halls of Fames: The National Junior College Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 1985, and the Region III Wrestling Hall of Fame, which he entered in 1991. He was a five-time Region III Coach of the Year, and his career record of 217 victories, 52 defeats and eight ties ranks him as one of the most winning wrestling coaches in the NJCAA. All of these accomplishments came from a man who never wrestled a day in his life. In 1997 Steve was inducted into the Alfred State Pioneers Hall of Fame. An extraordinary coach and mentor, Steve touched the lives of hundreds of athletes over the years, including 27 All-Americans, and his leadership inspired the careers of many future coaches and athletic directors. Steve believed that success, in every aspect of life, was less about your natural abilities and more about what you believed was possible. He was a gentle, kind, and loving man who always had an ear to listen and “special” advice to give. Steve’s passion for life will carry on in the lives of his eight grandsons, all of whom he was blessed to share his legacy. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend, and we will all miss his beautiful smile. Steve is survived by his wife and soulmate of 57 years, Marie Elizabeth, and their three children, Kristine (Drew) Wolfe of Denver, Colorado; Jeffrey (Liz) Babcock of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Kimberly (Mark) Verstandig of Albany, New York. He is also survived by his eight grandsons, Austin Wolfe, Grayden Wolfe, Bowen Wolfe, Steven Verstandig, Kyle Verstandig, Christopher Verstandig, Jonathan Babcock and Jameson Babcock. A celebration of Steve’s life will be held on June 5 in Saratoga Springs, NY. Expressions of sympathy and love may be shared with the family at P.O. Box 645, Hornell, NY 14843.