Elsa Albertina Babin died peacefully at her home at Ship Ashore Resort in Smith River, on Oct. 1, 2011. Harold, her husband of 70 years, as well as family and friends were at her side.
Elsa was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 6, 1918. Her parents were immigrants from Sweden. Elsa returned to Sweden with her parents as a young child, and lived there for two years. When she returned to the United States she was teased by her classmates for speaking only Swedish.
She attended Orange High School in Orange, N. J., outside of New York City. There she met her lifelong sweetheart, Harold. Harold graduated the year before Elsa but he returned to Orange to be near the love of his life.
Elsa’s first job out of high school was for Beneficial Finance in the Empire State Building in downtown New York. She and Harold took the train together every day to travel to their jobs in New York City.
Harold joined the U.S. Army in 1939. After he was temporarily discharged, he and Elsa married, July 25, 1941, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Harold was then recalled for service in the D-Day Invasion Normandy. After he returned from the European Theater of World War II, he and Elsa made their home together in Orange. After Elsa and Harold married, Elsa’s parents lived nearby as neighbors or in the Babin’s home until their deaths. Elsa was the primary caregiver for her aging mother, Judith, for the last five years of her life.
Elsa also had a lifelong love affair with animals, especially dogs. Harold got Elsa a puppy for her birthday when she was a teenager. A dog was always a part of their family. Elsa is survived by her latest dog “Lady,” a border collie.
Elsa and Harold’s only child, John Charles, was born in 1950. When John was young, his parents ran a luncheonette. The family moved to rural New Jersey in 1963, where Elsa took a break from her career to stay home and care for John.
After her mother died in 1981, she moved with Harold to the Brookings area to be near their son.
Elsa was deeply committed to her faith in God. She was a member of the Lutheran Church and Methodist Church in New Jersey. When she moved to the Brookings area she became a member of the Presbyterian Church, remaining with that church for 30 years. She was active in all her churches and was a leader of the Trail Blazer Youth Group at the Lutheran Church in New Jersey.
She was a member of the Vasa Order of America and was active in the local Tryggve Lodge in Montclair, N.J. She spent her summers in New Jersey vacationing with her son at the Vasa Home Resort at Budd Lake. Harold joined them on the weekends.
In her later years she especially enjoyed the love of her grandchildren, who lived nearby. The family enjoyed yearly traditional Swedish Christmas Eve celebrations at Elsa and Harold’s home.
Elsa is survived by her husband Harold of Smith River; her son John and his wife Ellen of Brookings. Also surviving are grandchildren Jessica Babin Bergman, and her husband Bobby of Brookings; and Alyssa Babin of San Francisco. Her great-granddaughters Alora Grace and Hiza Paige of Brookings also survive.
She was a friend to many, and was especially close to the family of Dick and Polly Keusink of Brookings. Many special occasions and holidays were spent with her extended family in the Keusink’s Pilot House.
Elsa was preceded in death by her mother, Judith Johnson, her father, Gottfrid Johnson, and her uncle Axel Carlson.
No formal service was held. Arrangements under the direction of Redwood Memorial Chapel, in Brookings.
Submitted by the family.