John Theodore Babinski, a long-time resident of Shelter Island for more than 35 years, passed away peacefully at 89 years of age on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at home, in the loving care of his wife Jane of 62 years.
Together, they were devoted parishioners at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and members of Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.
Born September 25, 1930, in New York City, John attended Jamaica High School in Queens and later enlisted in the U. S. Navy, serving his country for four years on the U.S.S. English (DD 696) as a boatswain’s mate third class.
Always a joker, his family said if you asked him about his military service in the Navy, he would tell you that he was relieved of his original post and assignment on a submarine for “sleeping with the window open” or “forgetting to close the screen door.”
After receiving an honorable discharge with the Korean Service Medal and Two Battle Stars, John and Jane were married on November 9, 1957, and started raising a family in Syosset where both of them became active volunteers in the Syosset Fire Department.
In 1972, John was named Schaefer Brewing Company’s Fireman of the Year for his selfless solo effort in removing two couples from an overturned burning vehicle on the Long Island Expressway.
Concurrently, John’s 30-year professional career as an emergency high voltage linemen for Con Edison was later followed by 10 years of employment for the Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course. Upon retirement, John and Jane settled as full-time Island residents and enjoyed every aspect of the relaxed lifestyle the Island offers.
On the Island, John became a fixture with the senior players at Gardiner’s Bay Golf Club and a Lions Club member, as well as becoming an active volunteer and worshiper with his wife Jane at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
He is survived by his wife Jane; his two children, Jil Diepold of Monroe and Jon Babinski of Bayville; grandchildren, Caitlin (Nicholas), Mackenzie, Taylor, James and Johanna; greatgrandchild, Theodore; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service on John’s behalf will be held at St. Mary’s at a future date.
Donations may be made at: stmarysshelterisland.org.