Vail Daily column: A. Judson Babcock, 1941-2015 |

Vail Daily column: A. Judson Babcock, 1941-2015

Judd was born Aug. 20, 1941, to Alvin J. Babcock Sr. and Mary Ryland Babcock in Richmond, Virginia. He attended St. Christopher’s School and was an Eagle Scout. He first developed his love for the mountains in the western part of Virginia where he attended Camp Virginia.

As a 1963 graduate of Washington & Lee University, he was captain of the wrestling team, a player on the undefeated football team and a member of the SAE fraternity house. He joined the Marines while in school and was honorably discharged in 1965. After graduating with a degree in commerce, he moved to New York City to work for the Babcock-Phillips Corporation, founded by his father and also Manufactures Hanover Trust Co.

In 1969, he was accepted into the Harvard Business School MBA program and graduated in 1971. He then began his career in real estate development working for The Flately Co. in Boston. Wanting to start his own business, he bought and sold several ski houses before moving permanently to the Mad River Valley in Vermont. There he started his own real estate development firm that built and managed apartment projects, ski area condominiums and a resort with marina on Lake Champlain. He was president of the Home Builders Association of Northern Vermont.

During his years in New York, Boston, and Vermont, Judd’s love for the New England mountains grew through skiing and sailing. He had first skied in college at a small area near Washington & Lee, but began his lifelong passion for the sport in Vermont and eventually became a volunteer on the ski patrol at Sugarbush. Judd’s passion for sailing, which developed on the Chesapeake Bay, grew while racing on Lake Champlain, where he purchased and restored the Intrepid, the last wooden hulled 12-meter yacht to win the America’s Cup.

In 1990, he moved his family to the Vail Valley and settled into the Homestead community in Edwards. He continued his real estate development business with projects in both Denver and Eagle County. He eventually worked exclusively in the valley, developing and selling properties and working as a broker for Gateway Land and Development.

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Committed to education and youth sports in our community, Judd was the first executive director of the Vail Christian High School, an active board member of Eagle County Charter Academy and board member of the Vail Valley Soccer Club. He was a long-time course crew volunteer at ski races, including Birds of Prey, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail and the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. He enjoyed most of the sports available in our mountains and surrounding areas, including skiing, tennis, rugby, golf and mountain biking. Above all, he loved to cruise on his boat at Lake Powell.

Judd will be missed by his family: Wife, Gretchen Babcock, of Edwards; daughters, Isabel Babcock, of Brooklyn, New York, Ashley Babcock, of Telluride, and Polly Babcock, of Brooklyn, New York. He is also survived by two sisters and their families, Ann Babcock (husband Jim Morgan) of Asheville, North Carolina, and Mary Edwards (husband Chuck), of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was predeceased by his brother Bill Babcock, of Richmond, Virginia. A memorial service and party will be held on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at 4 Eagle Ranch in Wolcott.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to either HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley at or Vail Boy Scout Troop 231 by contacting Jeff Apps by emailing or by calling 970-260-2654.

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