Dear Friends & Family, welcome to our memorial for Tony. We invite you to share a memory of him in the comments. To add a photo, click the icon that appears once you start typing. Archived tributes appear below. You can send Marcia a personal note by clicking Contact above. Thanks for sharing. Much love, Marcia, Suzanne, Holly & Trevor
November 8, 2021
"Tremendous gratitude to all who have embraced us, from near and far, with your wonderful words, flowers, food, and love. Trevor created this beautiful place for us to remember Tony with all of you. We are profoundly aware that we are not the only ones grieving; we hope you will find some comfort in the space, and that you will share your stories of, and photographs with, Tony. I am sharing a note from Tony that I have long kept on my desk. I'm not sure when or why he wrote it to me, but that's probably because-- since I was a little girl-- he always delivered this message to me. I will miss him beyond measure."
November 9, 2021
"This is terrific. Impossible to fully capture Tony’s spirit but this is a good example. He had an all-encompassing embrace of life and the people he loved. Thanks for everything."
November 9, 2021
"So many memories of good times in Laos, Ithaca, DC and in CA. Wishing you rich Reflections of all that was Tony!"
November 9, 2021
"This tribute is an incredible gift to all of us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing so many pictures and memories. I loved going through every photo and learning more about Tony. And Suzanne, the picture of the three of us - love, love, love. I hold that one especially close. I am missing him so much. I'll be back here often."
November 9, 2021
"Knew him since Kabul in the 70s and even acted with him in community theatre. Tony’s life was more spirit and saga than mere story. Some of us are lucky to live colorful lives of diverse accomplishment. Tony’s gift to all this was a singular nature and depth of belief in things. Marcia and he defined each other through adventures and bumps in the road. He was always sustained by her and the kids’ unwavering faith in him. It kept him going, and as he lived life out he brought a kind of purity to the fight for all the good he had learned to value. A romantic cowboy. And a helluva ride."
November 9, 2021
"Pam and I have known Tony a life time. We became friends in Afghanistan, where we had great fun, a belief in the good of what we were doing, and dreams for the future. We stayed friends for nearly 50 years. In our get togethers in living rooms, porches, pools and boats, and whether talking US politics, international relations, or observations about life, Tony always had a comment or a viewpoint that would stop the conversation because it was smart, and right, and no one else had thought to say that. He was particularly kind and generous to us at a difficult time and to other friends as well. I’ll miss him."
November 9, 2021
"Hi Suzanne! What you have done here is remarkable. I sent a private note to your mom but want to let you know that I have never seen a more beautiful tribute to a loved one's life. I worked with your dad and mom when they had the bed and breakfast. It was a joy getting to know them and, during my visits, your dad would tell wonderful stories. His legacy will go on and on due to his great works for humanity and his generosity of spirit. With love and prayers for you and your family."
Kitty and Bob Dixon
November 9, 2021
"Marcia and family, what an honor to get to know you, Tony and Trevor during our many stays at Crocker Inn and thereafter. You invited us in and treated us as family, from Amy and Lance's wedding when we overtook the entire place, my business team meetings and when we just came for fun, family times. It continues to some of our best times and memories together as a family. While we all relaxed, you two never stopped!! We were thrilled when you moved to Oakmont to slow down some, if either of you knew how to do that!! We miss him!! With love and hugs, Kitty and Bob"
November 9, 2021
"Almost 20 years ago, during my first week living in San Francisco, I met a handsome young man with very big hair. We didn’t really leave each other’s side from the moment we met. A short time later, he asked me if I wanted to go on a road trip to a friend’s wedding in Rancho Palos Verdes, south of Los Angeles. I was up for any adventure and said yes. He picked me up in his grandma’s car with his dad, Tony, sitting in the back seat. “Did I tell you Tony was coming?”
Riding down Highway 5, I got the life story of Tony Babb, mixed and mingled with his deep knowledge of every growing crop we passed through in the Central Valley. “Smell that? Garlic country… used to come here as a kid” …“Brussel sprouts – don’t’ look like ‘em, but they are” … “Hay! You should know that”… “Those are the cotton fields.” Each next crop brought on a new country song that Tony would sing out.
When we finally arrived, we were late and had to hurry to change into our wedding attire. My dress had a long ribbon that tied in the back. I tried to tie it on my own, and then Trevor tried too, but couldn’t get it right. Finally, Tony stepped in and tied it into a perfect square knot in one try. “A good sailor’s knot for you… you clean up good kid, let’s go have some fun.” Little did I realize this sailor/farmer/cowboy would be in my life for the next twenty years. Miss you so much, already. Rest well, Tony."
November 9, 2021
"What a beautiful tribute with so many fantastic pictures that capture his spirit. Tony will never be forgotten - in fact I think I can hear his booming voice and laughter just now. He taught me great lessons about the importance of being curious, and staying curious. I am sending so much love and sympathy to all the Babbs."
November 10, 2021
"I went to M-A with Tony. We were good friends. He played football and I played basketball. Many year passed and I learned that Tony owned the Rose pub in Palo Alto. I went there for lunch one day and we had a chance to recall old times at M-A. I'm saddened to hear of his passing. He is one of those people that, once you met him, you'll never forget him."
November 10, 2021
What a wonderful, thought tribute to a good friend and colleague. I have fabulous memories of hanging out with Tony and his family in Anilao, Philippines during the 1980s. Enjoyed sailing on his boat, reading Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea" under mosquito nets, and sharing deliscous meals. Rest in peace. Jerry"
November 11, 2021
"This is a lovely tribute to a kind & caring man I met only once, but who was exactly that, kind & caring & married to someone I had known through college and who gave the same. For those many years they were married, they were blessed to have each other. Through travel & new adventures, through parenthood and the first-rate Crocker Inn, through fortune and adversity, they met the challenges and still had room for kindness. Marcia is surrounded by her wonderful family & friends. Tony can be peaceful in that knowledge. Bless you all. Patricia"
November 11, 2021
"Nearly 30 years ago, as a 19 year old American University student, to be brought into the fold of the Babb family was the warmest embrace. Tony and Marcia hosted me for many Sunday dinners and I loved the Babb house and its worldly trinkets, all-season hot tub, and lively meals. There was always music; Tony knew every lyric and sang 'em loud and proud, always laughter, always great food, and always affection. Tony was a big friendly bear that welcomed whatever cubs were around, and also so clearly valued friendships that last a lifetime. I loved this family that liked each other so much and liked being together, a feeling that has persisted through the years, and I feel so lucky to have gotten a seat at the table so many times, from Bethesda, to the Crocker, to seeing Tony just this past summer in Suzanne's back yard, irreverent, funny, and the life of the party as always. His great hair also lasted a lifetime. Damn, I'm going to miss him. Happy Trails, Tony. Sending so much love to you, Marcia, Suzanne, Holly, Trevor, Maggie, and Bear."
November 12, 2021
"What a beautiful tribute to an amazing man, husband, father, and grandfather! John and I loved seeing the pictures of his life and his incredible journey. Your family has always been a very special part of my mom’s and thus ours…I will treasure the hospitality of my trip to Washington.D.C. And your home in California..it was great to get to know Tony better and loved his humor ..I wish we had known him better. Our loving thoughts and prayers are with you all, Your cousin, Joan"
November 12, 2021
"My thank you and remembrance to both of you for your kindness through the years. For welcoming us in your homes in Reston and McArthur Blvd in Washington, D.C, And all the dinners you cooked for us. And help with teaching me about a "new" world over 50 years ago. Tony, I always remember your kind eyes, smile, voice and face. You will always be with me and our family. We lost you, but not your kind spirit. Wherever you are - you will be taken care of. We love you and may God bless you."
November 12, 2021
"In Tony's obituary there is mention of his pumping project in Laos. I first met Tony in Savannakhet, Laos during the summer of 1967. I was a newbie and had been with USAID for only a couple of months. Tony was looking for the ADO guy to find out why he did not have his pump! I was that guy. From then on - Tony was a large part of my life and that of our family. A long and wonderful relationship that spanned over 50 years in Laos - the Philippines and the U.S. I am forever grateful for the doors that Tony opened for me during my USAID career and after. He was always generous with his time and efforts to help others. In recent months I have enjoyed our "mega" telephone calls that covered everything under the sun. I will greatly miss them. The world lost a unique person who deeply cared about its fate and those who are in need of help. Rest in peace - mentor, friend and colleague."
November 12, 2021
"Dear Marcia, Holly, Suzanne and Trevor,
What an amazing tribute to Tony. It has brought both smiles and tears which is exactly what a celebration of life should do. The loss for you, and for all of us who knew him, is deep.
In thinking about what I might share, one of my first memories of Tony was at the rambling house in Great Falls and the inevitable game of charades late in the evening when everyone was feeling no pain. Tony’s favorite was a song title and he was a master of the obscure, for example: “I have tears in my ears from laying on my back and crying over you.” Many years later, many of us had gathered in Chapel Hill NC for Julie Johnson’s wedding. A decision was made that the group should offer a small performance at the wedding. Trevor contacted Tony, who I believe was in Uzbekistan at the time, and together they wrote a parody of the song, The Gambler, which began “On a cold night in Moscow, Julie met Alexi”. We were something to behold and fortunately the wedding party enjoyed our rendition. Moving forward another few years, I recall being at a fun San Francisco restaurant with Marcia, Suzanne, and Trevor when Tony, who was supposed to be in Kurdistan, marched in to surprise Marcia. Not a dry eye in the group which soon turned to laughter and tall tales.
Tony was one in a million—the real deal. We miss you man and look forward to the Kabul Clan reunion that convenes in a different galaxy. Sending love and comfort to all. Alaine"
Tom Amato and Chris Thompson
November 13, 2021
"Dear Marcia and Family,
Some people inspire. Tony was one of those. We first met Tony in 2018, when his outspokenness saved the local Democrat Club from folding. Later that year, canvassing with him to defeat a nasty congressmember, we came to know both Tony’s compassion for the oppressed but also his wonderful curiosity about the larger world as he quizzed us about our work in Nicaragua years ago. We also became aware of his wonderful crazy commitment to our world as now over age 80, Tony drove a huge RV at night to the Central Valley so he could spend election week knocking doors. We at Oakmont will miss Tony’s deep sense of purpose and caring. Tom and Chris"
Britney Wislow Waugh
November 13, 2021
"My fondest memories of Tony are during Thanksgiving dinner at the Old Crocker Inn. I could honestly listen to Tony’s stories of travel and adventure endlessly. I loved talking with him about my travels in India and Pakistan, as his insight and inquisitive nature led to such memorable conversation. His genuine curiosity made you feel so seen and heard. I can’t help but recall the feeling as basking in Tony’s light. What a bright and colorful soul. A dear, dear man. I feel beyond lucky to have known him. His smile and warmth lit up the entire room. Sending so much love to you all."
November 14, 2021
"This is a wonderful tribute to Tony to celebrate his life. Being around him meant fantastic memories were in the making, often with learning something new as well. I've known Tony and Marcia since the early 90s when Marcia and I worked together. And although we've been on opposite coasts for most of the time since then, there have been many trips back and forth. I remember trips to Menlo Park to see Marcia, and Tony 'letting' me bartend one night at the Rose and Crown. He taught me the ropes and let me go for it, encouraging me as I learned to pull a Guinness. There were agricultural discussions about Smut, rapeseed, and irrigation - Tony's ag expertise he was always ready to share. There was sailing in San Francisco Bay in a small sailboat with Marcia, captained by Tony, as a sunny day suddenly turned cloudy and windy, and Tony calmly and expertly tacking us back to the dock. There was a trip to England with Tony and Marcia, stopping at Oxford to see Trevor, and driving to the Lake District with Tony's mantra of 'drive on the left, drive on the left' in between his singing of so many songs. A few memories among many. He always took care of us. He always had a story, a song, or information to share. Marcia, Suzanne, and Trevor, you are in my prayers and my heart goes out to you. I will miss Tony. Susan F."
November 15, 2021
"Tony was the kindest, most loving undercover CIA operative I have ever known.
But truly...Tony is a shining light. My favorite memories of him will be of Thanksgiving dinner at the Crocker. I recall one time telling him a story about how my brother Nick and I had ridden our bikes around the countryside nearby. I was describing the roads and turns and twists and of course Tony knew all of them. I then told him that we had ridden to the end of a road with a big, locked gate, and then, after some consideration, we decided to hop the gate and continue riding into a vineyard. Tony's eyes narrowed and sparkled and that big smile took over. He loved the adventure.
My warmest love to you all.
November 15, 2021
"This tribute prompted many random memories of my brother-in-law: Tony and I struggling to remove wallpaper from a plaster wall in the 60s in Washington, D.C.; Tony and Marcia in Laos while I was in Viet Nam and I figured out how to use the Army phone system to call them periodically and hear about them hiding in the barn when rebels came near; Tony carving turkeys for the magnificent, massive Thanksgivings gatherings at the Crocker Inn; several of us hanging the Crocker Ranch sign over the driveway in 2007; turning on the news one night in SC to see Tony on TV resigning from USAID due to the Nestle formula issue; sailing across San Francisco bay on what turned out to be a very cold afternoon; fascinating conversations about his travels and experiences in many countries; many more. A remarkable person – he is missed."
November 15, 2021
"The first time I met Tony he was sitting behind the check-in desk at the Old Crocker. I thought that his especially warm welcome was because I had come as a guest of Suzanne's (for what turned out to be the first of many hilarious, delicious, and memorable Thanksgiving celebrations with the extended Babb clan), but as I got to know Tony better I came to understand that one of his many gifts was the way that he always extended a warm welcome, to everyone - such a giant open heart and what seemed like an endless curiosity about other humans and their experiences!
Tony's friendliness and his ability to invite folks in surely helped lead him to so many extraordinary adventures - and was, of course, the best possible cover for his real job as a spy. I mean, if you're just a big, friendly ol' cowboy who likes to share stories and songs (and sometimes might be mistaken for Moses) and help out, no one will ever guess that you're actually a spy, right? I think the first time I put it together was somewhere after midnight one Thanksgiving, after many glasses of wine and such, when Tony said to me and Suzanne, "You know, the last time I saw that Senator from the South Bay we had just returned from Laos. I walked down on the floor of the Senate to deliver some documents to Ted Kennedy, and that Senator was there too." All nonchalant about how whatever was in the documents (he never would tell us) that he just had to deliver personally to his old friend, Ted Kennedy...from then he was Spy Tony to me.
I feel so lucky that I got the chance to know Tony, to hear his stories and share so much laughter and food and so many interesting conversations with him, and even a few games of cribbage. I miss him and will hold him in my heart. May his memory be a blessing to each of us who knew and loved him."
November 17, 2021
"This is the time of year where we had most gatherings with the Babb family - our first time traveling as a family with a tiny baby Luca, Thanksgivings with the extended clan, and more.
My first impression was of a tall tall man with a larger than life heart, sparkle and intellect, sitting in this tiny little TV room at the Crocker.
The glimpses that one caught about his involvement in momentous world events felt like just the very tip of the iceberg - how special that Marcia, Suzanne and Trevor got to hear so much more!!! I hope there can be some sharing of his amazing stories and contributions. There was such a deep sense of roots in California and concurrently, of experiences around the Globe.
He saw the interesting, the mischievous, and the good in each person who came his way. The kids loved him, and we all love him. Thank you Tony for the interest you expressed in each, and the welcoming warm space you held for all."
November 19, 2021
"I didn't get to spend a whole lot of time with Tony, but on the few times I had the pleasure to share a glass or break bread with him, it was always clear that I was before a man who was as authentic and true to himself as a man could be; someone with a very well-tuned BS meter who, with the power of a glance, could compel you to be as authentic and real as you could be. He spoke his mind and he spoke it well - a trait that was clearly passed on to his children. It was short and sporadic, but it was an honor meeting you, Tony. And to all the Babbs, my heart and deep meditations. Much love."
November 20, 2021
"This morning, I have been thinking about one evening at the Inn. Suzanne and Chris Brophy and I were there. Perhaps others; my memory is imperfect. Who knows what Sonoma County shenanigans we had gotten up to on preceding nights, but this night Tony had built a fire, and we were sitting around having a glass of wine and talking with Tony and Marcia. Tony was telling stories, and we were listening and laughing and enjoying being together. What I remember most was the warmth of the fire and the company, feeling welcomed and like family. Tony opened doors, arms, and hearts to all of us. I am grateful and I will miss him."
November 25, 2021
"Dear Marcia, I have only just learnt about Tony’s recent heart attack and death. Although I only met you briefly in Bethesda, I wanted to let you know that I am very thankful that Tony (Eugene) Babb was part of my life. From the time he was my boss when I joined DAI in 1984, working with Jim Wolf and Don Humpal in Sacramento, to being with him in Peshawar working for him on cross border programs, (mule-skinners from Georgia, with Stinger missiles going up on the tribal area mountain tracks) and in Punjab trying to fix barani agriculture, to the sheer delight of having him do a rice STTA for me in Liberia. I will always remember his kindness, big heartedness, and compassion for those less fortunate and despite the seriousness with which he approached his technical work, his sense of fun. I have many memories of him, but one of my favourites is from Liberia. I had been asked by a Liberian in the US to visit her village up in the bush near the Guinea border, and finally agreed. Tony and I drove up through the rural countryside on very bad roads and arrived at a derelict bridge, at the foot of the hill leading up to the village. On inspection, we decided that the few broken planks might not hold our vehicle and decided to leave the cars and walk up the hill. The villagers had heard the car and started to come down the hill to meet up, singing, clapping, dancing in welcome. I wish I had videoed your big bear of a husband clapping and dancing up that hill hand in hand with a spritely old granny, all five foot nothing and 100 lbs soaking wet. He won everyone’s hearts that day and we went on with his help to put in a new rice field for that village.
I did not get Don Mickelwait’s email until a few days ago as he sent it to an email I use rarely these days. I had just recently been thinking of Tony and talked to my wife about him. Every so often we would have a phone call or email, and I wanted so much to come and visit him in CA, but work or something else always made it not the right time. I really regret that. I was just remembering him falling off the roof of your ranch in Sonoma, as I recuperated from a similar roof top fall here in Kansas.
I know you will have many many memories of him, but they don’t begin to replace the larger than life, rodeo riding, principled, technically competent, kind human being that it was my very great privilege to know, learn from and work with.
Today as we cook and prepare for a family Thanksgiving, I am particularly thankful for having spent time on my journey through life with him, and as we remember your husband, our thoughts are with you and your children.
Jonathan and Eileen Greenham"
November 29, 2021
"I am late to the posting but not in my respect, affection and appreciation of Eugene (Tony) Babb. Many of the posted tributes are evidence of the full range of human qualities Tony possessed. I can applaud and second his remarkable approach to life but not add to what has been written by those whom Tony touched in his many journeys. But in addition to being a unique human being, Tony was a highly skilled professional. I will try and add a few insights from this aspect of Tony’s life.
Following a much-publicized departure from USAID over the marketing of Nestle’s infant formulae in Africa, Tony joined DAI. We were small and energetic and highly engaged. Tony fit in quickly. And he actually knew how to grow crops and how to organize to make agriculture productive and profitable. He led the Agriculture and Natural Resources Section, which was the growth engine of DAI. With Tony’s direction, DAI was the leader in this field for more than 10 years. Later in his DAI time, he moved the family to the Philippines where he managed three highly regarded projects in Natural Resource Development—in the case securing the remaining tropical forests and allowing forest dwellers to make living without poaching trees.
In 2000, Tony and I bought Experience, Inc., a small consulting firm, from DAI. The purchase came with a contact to work in Uzbekistan. Tony spent six months there leading a team rationalizing the operations of the Grain industry. In 2003, Experience Inc. began a DAI contract in Iraq in agriculture, and Tony was the wheat expert, designing and managing demonstrations that achieved a multiple of three times crop production in dryland farming among the Kurds of northern Iraq.
I worked directly with Tony in projects in Cambodia, Pakistan/Afghanistan, the Philippines, Uzbekistan and Iraq. He was a consummate professional, committed to delivering services and income to those who needed it most. And he had great common sense understanding of how to enhance agriculture even in the poorest environments. EIs website showed a photo of a water pump and catchment system—being used by Laotian boys as a swimming hole—that allowed hot-season irrigation and second crops, an achievement of Tony’s that has lasted nearly 50 years. Tony, with his open, joyous approach to life, created development around the world. One of a kind, great friend and development partner. We will all miss him.
Don Mickelwait, DAI Founder/ex-CEO, Experience Inc./CEO"
December 12, 2021
"A few weeks ago, our family sat around the dinner table and shared stories about our friend Tony. My dad remembered the time Tony steered him and my mom toward the purchase of their very first home (Gordon Ave) – and one that seemed (at the time) a little more than they could afford but was a better investment and was a nicer home. And we are all so grateful. It is the home my parents live in today and the one where we share many memories with each other and many long-time friends that we met in Laos. We also talked about where Tony and Marcia lived in Laos, and I learned that Marcia had a cow (loved that). One of my favorite memories of Tony was when he showed up at my hotel in Manila as I was being evacuated as a peace corps volunteer. Suddenly, I had “family” at my doorstep during a difficult moment. He gave me a bear hug and asked if I was ok and if I needed something to eat. We got fries and a coke at McDonald’s, talked about everything, and it was the best. We will miss him. Sending lots of love to the Babb family and hoping we can be together to share more stories soon. - Lana"
December 18, 2021
"I worked closely with Tony for 8 months on the Gilligan-era Reorganization Task Force. It was an interesting and exciting time and Tony’s combination of common sense, strategic thinking and boldness made it work. His sense of humor helped, too. When it finished its work I felt I had to flee the country because we recommended abolishing my home bureau, so took an assignment in Costa Rica. Fortunately, Tony went on to lead a bureau successfully. His career and life showed the same characteristics I so admired back in the late 1970’s. My deepest condolences to Tony’s family. Mary Kilgour"
February 8, 2022
"It is a very shocking news for me about sad demise of Tony Babb. He was a wonderful man with always positive attitudes and very humble. His support and cooperation during hard time in Peshawar unforgettable. I can remember his style of talking in very cool manner and tried to resolve our matters. I don't have contact of his family otherwise to share my sympathies at this crucial moment. Any way mine and my family full sympathies with Tony's family and pray to bear this loss with patience."