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Matthew Glen Babcock, 39, of Lisbon, Connecticut, loving husband, father, son, friend, coach, fireman and community member, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, December 10th, 2023. Born in Griswold, on April 3rd, 1984, Matt was filled with Wolverine pride, never missing a chance to don his green and white attire. Throughout his childhood, Matt was a member of Boy Scouts, Little League, Connecticut Force AAU Basketball, and began his passion for firefighting with his dad at the Jewett City Fire Department. Since the 7th grade, Matt was involved in his schools’ theater programs, serving on both the tech crew and as an actor.
In high school, Matt played basketball and golf. His truest athletic passion, of course, was on the the football field. In his youth, Matt played in a Superbowl with the Plainfield Rams. At Griswold High School, Matt was a four-year starter, earning First Team All-State status. Playing both offense and defense, he competed in the 2001 state championship.
Matt continued his football career on defense at Fitchburg State. As a Falcon, his team won the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference Championship in both 2004 and 2005. He earned the Defensive Linemen Award in 2005. Matt also traveled to Scotland with the Fitchburg Theater Group and completed the full-set design for the drama “Playing for Time”, a true story about Auschwitz. Due to his impeccable design and execution, Matt won the National Meritorious Achievement Award for Scenic Design from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In 2005 at Fitchburg State, Matt met his wife Karen, as they were neighbors in the same townhouse.
After earning a degree in Technical Theater Management, Matt and Karen moved back to the Griswold area and settled in Lisbon, Connecticut. Always a Wolverine, Matt worked closely with Mr. Ray Churchill and became part of the award-winning Griswold Drama Production Team. His favorite Griswold show was Jesus Christ, Superstar and his favorite set design was for Tarzan. Matt cherished teaching the students leadership and design skills, setting incredibly high standards for all involved. His tough-love approach served as a reminder of his passion for the program that he loved so much.
Matt was a third generation, 13 year veteran, of Station #54, the Lisbon Fire Department, where he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. He served as Chairman of both the Parade Committee and the Santa Claus Run, was a member of the Building Committee for the new Lisbon Firehouse and the Truck Committee for the new ET-154. He valued training the youth in the department, buffing the trucks so that the chrome sparkled, and found joy serving his community through service for others.
Professionally, Matt worked as the Event Technical Director for the Northeast at Encore, based out of Foxwoods Resort Casino. From budgets, to hiring, and meetings galore, Matt directed it all. On the side, Matt embraced the Christmas spirit by working at Maple Lane Tree Farm during the holiday season.
While Matt served his community with vigor, his most precious role was as a husband to Karen, and father to his three children, Mackenzie, Quinn, and Cameron. Always with a scorebook in hand, Matt coached Cameron’s baseball and youth football teams. If not at the field, Matt could be found driving his daughters to soccer and dance several times a week, volunteering as the lighting and sound director for the most recent dance recital. He was the most prepared tailgater of any of the dads on the soccer team, and was always trying to learn new ways to hickory smoke pork ribs, brisket, seafood and vegetables. Matt lit up his neighborhood with the most Christmas lights and built his own 25x65 foot ice skating rink, with a Bruins/Babcock “B” in the center, over the last several years. He followed the Miami Dolphins religiously and anticipated a deep playoff run this season. Matt and his family skied and snowboarded all over the White Mountains, and sought solitude at their camp on Lake Ossipee in the summer. Perhaps the most selfless person anyone has ever met, everything that Matt did was for his family, friends, and community in mind.
Matt was predeceased by his father-in-law, Bob Chociej, of Peabody, Massachusetts. Matt is also predeceased by his paternal grandmother, Janet Babcock, of Juneau, Wisconsin, and by his maternal grandparents, Robert and Shirley Eliasson, of Preston, Connecticut. Matt is survived by his wife, Karen, and three children, Mackenzie, Quinn, and Cameron, his parents, Kevin and Nancy Babcock of Griswold, his sister Mallory Babcock of Voluntown, his grandfather Edward Babcock of Juneau, Wisconsin, his mother-in-law Susan Chociej of Peabody, Massachusetts, his brother-in-law and his wife, Bobby and Jennifer Chociej of Topsfield, Massachusetts, and their son Aiden. He is survived by several aunts, uncles, cousins, and close family friends.
The calling hours are Sunday, December 17th, from 3-6PM at Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home in Griswold, Connecticut. The funeral service will be at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Norwich, Connecticut, on Monday, December 18th at 11AM. After the service, the procession will travel to Maple Wood Cemetery in Norwich, Connecticut, for internment. Immediately after the graveside service, a Celebration of Life Service will be held at the Jacques Cartier Club in Jewett City. All are welcome.
Donations can be made to “The Babcock Family” at www.gofundme.com and www.mealtrain.com.