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The passing of John Babalis, obituary posted

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I regret to inform the numismatic community of the passing of John Babalis. John was the former director of operations for Bowers & Merena and more recently served as a founder and operations director for American Numismatic Rarities, both of Wolfeboro, NH. He was a fine friend and colleague, always the gentleman. He will be missed by all that knew him.


John Steve Babalis


John Steve Babalis, 73, of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire died November 16, 2003 at Huggins Hospital, Wolfeboro. He was born in Springfield, Ohio, July 28, 1930. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1948, valedictorian among 400 classmates, and attended Northwestern and Ohio State universities. A veteran, he served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the United States Navy and was stationed in Washington, DC.


John, who was affectionately known as “Mr. B” by friends and co-workers, was the Director of Administration and Personnel of American Numismatic Rarities in Wolfeboro. Previously, he enjoyed a long and heralded career at Bowers and Merena Galleries. As a licensed auctioneer, he sold some of the finest numismatic properties ever to cross the auction block in different venues across America, from New England to California. He was a member of the American Numismatic Association. Prior to his work in numismatics, John was an insurance executive and administrator with Mutual of Omaha. He was actively involved with the Greek Orthodox Church, and served on the parish council for many years, including terms as vice-president and treasurer of The Annunciation in Dayton, Ohio.


John enjoyed Wolfeboro, its people and organizations, and was a fine friend to all who knew him. He was the kind of person that you met and immediately felt he’d been your friend for many years. He immediately joined the “Newcomers Club” upon moving to Wolfeboro in 1981 and was still a member in 2003. In 1982-1983 he served as Co-Chairman and subsequently Chairman of the Huggins Hospital Street Fair.


John was extraordinarily proud of his family and was blessed by having all of his children and their families nearby. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Georgie; his children and their spouses, Christine and Robert Karstedt, Steven and Sandra Babalis, Beth and Steve Flagg, and by his grandchildren, Melissa and Robb Karstedt, Steve and Alex Babalis, and J.C. and Micaela Flagg, all of Wolfeboro. His sister, Diane Karampas, and brother, Constantine Babalis, also survive him.


In recent years, despite John’s lingering health problems, he traveled widely, including to Greece, the land where his parents were born. At the inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001, the Babalises were invited guests. Among his hobbies and recreations were boating, oenology, cuisine, and reading.


Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, November 21st at the Lord Funeral Home, Route 28, Wolfeboro, NH. (603) 569-5511. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the John Babalis Memorial Fund, c/o Community Bank and Trust, 15 Varney Road, PO Box 59, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. The fund will be used for educational scholarships for those seeking a career in nursing, a profession John came to deeply appreciate over the last few years, and for scholarships for inspiring young numismatists.


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