Garrett Daniel, left, and James Thomas (J.T.) Babst. COURTESY PHOTOS

Garrett Daniel, left, and James Thomas (J.T.) Babst. COURTESY PHOTOS

In memory of two who were lost too soon

Babst family awards scholarships to help three graduating seniors attend a trade school

Nancy Babst wanted to give something back to the community as a way to honor her two late sons.

The Babst Memorial Scholarship soon came to be.

Three graduates – Auburn High School’s John McHugh, Auburn Riverside’s Charles Cowan and Auburn Mountainview’s Sean Wicklund – each recently received the scholarship to help them attend a trade school and launch a career.

“We were to blessed to give the first three scholarships to three hard-working, deserving, young men,” Nancy said. “We are beyond grateful for all the support we received to establish this scholarship this year, and our hope is that it will continue so we are able to bless others pursuing a career in the trades.”

Trades are an important part of the Babst household.

Jim, Nancy’s husband, is a commercial building inspector for the City of Bellevue. Nancy, an electrical contractor, works with the Department of Labor and Industries.

Their two oldest sons, James Thomas (J.T.) and Garrett Daniel, got into the trades as well.

Garrett joined Laborers Union Local 242 and worked on Bellevue’s new Mariott hotel, and J.T. was with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and was hired by the BNSF Railroad even before he graduated from trade school.

Garrett died in November 2014 by suicide in the family home in Auburn. Less than four months later, J.T. was killed in a tragic snowmobiling accident while on a trip to scatter Garrett’s ashes at a hot spring near McCall, Idaho.

Nancy – with support from family and friends – wanted to use her experiences to help others. The scholarship, created in February, took shape. With help from school administration and staff, the family raised enough money – about $10,000 – to reward a senior from each high school this year.

The Babst family has set up a gofundme page to raise money for future scholarships.

“The scholarship is our family’s attempt at taking the sourest of lemons life has given us and making something that resembles lemonade,” Nancy said.

McHugh plans to enter the Green River College auto program and hone his tech skills. A hard worker, good leader and excellent problem solver, McHugh competed in SkillsUSA in metals and automotive areas. He has welding and automotive experience and has a mature outlook on life.

Cowan is ready to pursue the electronics program at the Puget Sound Electrical Apprenticeship Training Center. According to his instructors, Cowan has an exceptional aptitude for technology and produces quality work. He quickly comprehends theory, complex circuits and formulas. He applied this knowledge with great success in more than 75 lab experiments and projects.

Wicklund is looking to build a career as an automotive technician by attending Perry Technical Institute in Yakima. An exceptional student, Wicklund scored the highest in his student ASE certification tests. He is an excellent mentor for advanced and beginning students.

Nancy and JIm Babst with the Auburn High School’s John McHugh, the recipient of the Babst Memorial Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTO

Nancy and JIm Babst with the Auburn High School’s John McHugh, the recipient of the Babst Memorial Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTO

Nancy and JIm Babst with the Auburn Mountainview High School’s Sean Wicklund, the recipient of the Babst Memorial Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTO

Nancy and JIm Babst with the Auburn Mountainview High School’s Sean Wicklund, the recipient of the Babst Memorial Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTO

Nancy and JIm Babst with the Auburn Riverside High School’s Charles Cowan, the recipient of the Babst Memorial Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTO

Nancy and JIm Babst with the Auburn Riverside High School’s Charles Cowan, the recipient of the Babst Memorial Scholarship. COURTESY PHOTO

More in News

Highline College hosts Black and Brown Male Summit on Saturday

450-plus Young men of color to attend conference

Eric Davis. COURTESY PHOTO
Auburn speaker selected for statewide program

Auburn resident Eric Davis has been selected to serve on Humanities Washington’s… Continue reading

Auburn man gets 13-plus years in prison for racially-motivated attack

Victim still recovering from brutal beating by a baseball bat-wielding man that left him clinging to life

King County approves gun warning sign requirement

Warning signs must be posted in all King County gun stores and firing ranges.

State Senate leaders say an outside investigation into a rape allegation made against state Sen. Joe Fain will continue even though he lost his reelection bid. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Senate committee to move forward with investigation into rape allegation against Fain

But some question whether to proceed with probe in wake of Auburn senator losing his reelection bid

An architectural rendering of what the new Dick Scobee Elementary School will look like. COURTESY, Auburn School District
Public invited to Nov. 14 open house to learn more about new Scobee Elementary School

Building for Learning, a Dick Scobee Community Open House, is set for… Continue reading

Prosecutor alleges 17-year-old Auburn-area youth shot friend, will try him for manslaughter

The King County Sheriff’s office says 17-year-old John Mugo had been playing… Continue reading

Utility work to affect both directions of A Street SE | UPDATES

Beginning Monday, Nov. 19, through approximately Friday, Nov. 30, utility work by… Continue reading

Auburn Police presents its fireworks analysis to City Council

Report: fewer calls, with an emphasis on Les Gove Park

Most Read