On their birthdays, Paul A. Babineau’s family and friends could expect to receive his trademark greeting.
Yabba Yabba Doo, Happy Birthday to You.
“He would text that or post it on Facebook. He did that to everybody,” said Joyce Babineau, Paul’s wife.
Paul Babineau was also known for watching over his four daughters.
“His famous saying was: ‘I always have to make sure my girls are OK. I have to take care of my girls,’” Joyce said.
Paul Babineau was hoping to meet his newborn granddaughter, but he never got that chance. He died of COVID-19 on Oct. 30, 2020, just says after being admitted to St. Luke’s Hospital. He was 76.
“My husband failed fast,” Joyce said, adding that he was in the intensive care unit, on a ventilator, shortly after he went to the hospital because he was having difficulty breathing. Joyce wanted to be with Paul when health care workers removed him from the machine.
“He was an absolutely wonderful husband, father, and grandfather,” Joyce said.
Born in New Bedford, Paul Babineau was a longtime Fairhaven resident before he moved to New Bedford 14 years ago. He graduated from Fairhaven High School and received his associate degree from LaSalle Extension University.
Paul Babineau served in the U.S. Coast Guard for six years that coincided with the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War. After his military service, Paul worked as a facilities designer with Jacob’s Engineering and Macom-Lowell.
Joyce Babnieau said her husband was a lead guitar player for Jimmy and the Allstars, a local band. He also enjoyed bowling and tinkering in his basement workshop, where he would craft miniature boats inside glass bottles.
Above all, Paul Babineau was “a very family-oriented person” who got along well with most people.
“There wasn’t anyone that didn’t like my husband,” Joyce said. “Everyone just loved him. He would help everybody. He would go do little jobs if they needed help doing something. There were a lot more people who just thought the world of my husband.”
Joyce, who works at Stop & Shop in Dartmouth, believes she brought the novel coronavirus home, adding that her husband, who was retired, never left the house during the pandemic. She herself got sick, but not to the point that she was hospitalized.
“As careful as I thought I was being, I carry the guilt that I must have dropped the ball somehow,” said Joyce, who had a private get-together at her home after Paul’s funeral. There he was remembered as someone admired by people who knew him from church, work and the bowling alley.
Said Joyce, “He was a wonderful man.”
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