Roberta Babcock can’t stop helping others

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Name: Roberta Babcock Age: 87 City: Lincoln Job: Retired Family: Three children; five grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. How long did you serve on the Lincoln City Council? For 12 years, from 1982 to 1994. I was mayor twice. Why did you serve for 12 years? There were different things I wanted to do. Once you get on there, you get interested in things you probably never thought of before. What were some of your accomplishments on the council? When I got on the council, we did the infrastructure and General Plan for Twelve Bridges. That was before the advent of Del Webb. The reason Del Webb got here was because Twelve Bridges lost some of their money and needed cash flow so they sold some of their holdings to Del Webb. I helped to get the instrument landing system for the airport and it’s being used to this day. What did you like about being on the City Council? As far as I’m concerned, helping my constituents and doing the best that I could do. How long have you lived in Lincoln? I was born and raised in Lincoln, and graduated in 1942. I graduated as the president of my class. Is the high school today similar to how it was when you graduated? No. The high school was where the tennis courts are now and it was like a beautiful college. It was all one story except for the band room and gym. They had the graduation every year outdoors and the stage was under a huge pine tree. Have you always lived in Lincoln? When I married my late husband Edward, he was with the 101 st Airborne. He was from upstate New York so I lived there for 16 years. He passed away in 1967 so then I came home. Tell me about your family’s history. My parents were James and Edna Ragsdale and I’m a fourth-generation pioneer family. The Ragsdales started in England, went to Kentucky, then to Missouri. My great-grandfather was a dairy farmer in Missouri. Seems as though he helped a slave and the state of Missouri got wind of that. They dragged him into court and fined him $6. He got so upset, he sent his sons in a wagon train to find property in California. What did your parents do for a living? My dad wasn’t a farmer. He worked at Gladding, McBean. He did handmade terra cotta. My mother was a news reporter for the Roseville Press-Tribune, Auburn Journal, Sacramento Bee and Lincoln News Messenger. She did that for about 10 years and did social news. Are you involved in the Lincoln community? I’ve always been really involved in belonging to different clubs. I was past president of the Women’s Club, and belonged to the Golden Club and Lincoln American Legion Auxiliary. I’m involved with the United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women, Native Sons of the Gold West and Native Daughters. I also serve on the Placer County Cemetery Board and am treasurer of the Lincoln Area Archives-Museum. Why do you keep so active in the community? Because I don’t like to sit home, staring at the boob tube all day. As long as my mind and health are OK, I should do whatever I can and I love to do it. What do you think about the Archives-Museum’s new location? It’s beautiful. You can show off everything to such an advantage to what you could do in the back of the Civic Center. It’s just gorgeous. We need volunteers - any time they could give to us would be appreciated. If you would like to see a neighbor or friend featured here, please e-mail or call Stephanie Dumm at 774-7967.