Robert Francis Babcock

October 4, 1948September 5, 2021

Robert Francis Babcock, age 72 of Williamston, MI passed away on Sunday, September 5, 2021. He was born on October 4, 1948 in Indianapolis, IN the son of James Willard and Mary Frances (Pictor) Babcock.

Robert retired from the Coast Guard Reserve in 1999. He worked for the State of Michigan, retiring in 2013. Robert was an avid golfer and loved to watch movies. He attended the YMCA frequently.

He is survived by his daughters, Teresa (Benjamin) Zolynsky and Barbara (Joel) Visser; his grandchildren, Tyler Zolynsky, Sara Visser and Ryan Visser; siblings, Mary Ellen Babcock, William (Carol) Babcock, Jeanne (Magno) Cantaro, Barbara Martinez, Betsy (Jim) Jackson, and Debbie (Joe) Bonifer; several nieces and nephews; many cousins and friends. Robert was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, James Babcock.

A Private Family Service will be held. Interment will be held at Summit Cemetery, Williamston, MI. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Robert’s honor may be made to the YMCA. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home Williamston. To leave a fond memory, photo or words of sympathy please visit


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Robert Francis Babcock

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Albert Boyce

September 21, 2021

Re Bob,
I stopped in the Haslett Y today for a swim and on my way out I saw Bobs Obit...I was very surprised to read about Bobs death. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I'll miss your great sense of humor buddy.

Chuck Miller

September 15, 2021

Bob had been a "Y" friend of mine for many years. He always had a story to tell, loved to talk about his family. His workout was like clockwork. You knew when he would be there and then what his exercise routine would be. Dependable Bob. He was a mainstay of the Y; his smile will be missed.

Christa Robinson

September 13, 2021

I’m going to miss Bob, who I got to know from yoga class at the YMCA. He was always so excited when we talked about all his plans that he was looking forward to. I’m going to miss his smile and greetings of “hey, kiddo!” I’m glad to have known him.

Paul Curtis

September 13, 2021

“Boggy Bob” was a gentleman, a friend to all, and he will be missed!!! We shared lunch times while we were both employed, and great golf with our DNR/DEQ “Hackers”… I hope other family and friends have the same warm feelings for a truly good man. My sincere condolences to Bob’s family and friends…Paul Curtis

Janet MacFarlane

September 13, 2021

I was very sad to learn of Bob's passing. He used to attend my yoga classes at the YMCA. He was always friendly and good spirited and I enjoyed his sense of humor and our conversations. Bob always told me that the yoga practice made him taller and helped him win his golf tournament. I had not seen Bob since last year, and was always hoping he would make his way back to class again. I will miss him in my classes, and can still hear him say, "Thanks, kid!"

Nicole Milzarski

September 13, 2021

I’ve known Bob for years from the Ymca but only over the last couple months I’ve talked to him daily. Bob will always be someone that I’ll remember coming in daily, he was always there with a hello and smile. A piece of advice he gave me was when you are learning someone’s name, make it unique. So from that moment on, I was Nicole with an E. Some people will leave a lasting impression in your life, and Bob did this for me. I wish I could have learned more from Bob but what he did tell me will always echo in my head.

Amy Peterson

September 13, 2021

My husband, Mark, and I are so sorry to hear about Bob. He always had a ready smile at work and was a quick wit. Many years ago, Bob went in on an order with us and several other people for a new kayak. We went on a couple of adventures with Bob on rivers, including the Sturgeon River in northern Michigan, which has an 80% tip-over rate. Mark and I figured that a former Coast Guard guy knew how to navigate a tight, twisty river in a kayak. But when Bob showed up with a cooler containing crackers, cheese and a bottle of wine, we had to do some coaching. To make a long story short, Bob left the wine behind, tipped over twice and was hypothermic by the time we got off the water. He changed clothes in his truck, we went to dinner and had many more good laughs that evening.

Barry Burns

September 13, 2021

I was so saddened and was shocked when I received the news that Bob had passed. My heart goes out to his family and friends. I was a co-worker, friend and golf buddy of Bob's for 30 years. Bob was a very likable guy, good friend, kind, and understanding. I have to say I was very surprised on his passing because I played golf with Bob 3 days prior to his passing. He was very much his cheerful self and was elated that his oncologist informed him he was making good progress and he did not need to see Bob for 3 months. I will certainly miss my long time good friend and fellow golfer.

George Smith

September 12, 2021

I am really saddened to hear about Bob's passing. He was a long time golfing friend. Truly a wonderful guy who will be missed by anyone who got the privilege to know him.

roger jones

September 11, 2021

So sorry to hear about Bob. I consider myself very fortunate to have known him during our water pollution control careers with DNR and DEQ. Bob was a rock and just an all-round good guy--an example to so many of us in a tough business. May God bless you and yours, Bob. Roger Jones, DNR/DEQ (ret.)