In Memoriam: Gary Burrell Babcock

Title: In Memoriam: Gary Burrell Babcock

Authors: Jim Schroeder and Joyce Babcock

Publication: The Outcrop, September 2007, p. 7

Gary Burrell Babcock, founding member of Lara­mie Energy and 30-year RMAG member, died June 15, 2007, at his home in Littleton, Colorado.

Gary was born February 9, 1938, in Omaha, Nebra­ska, the only child of Bette and Clyde Babcock. While attending Benson High School, Gary participated in ROTC. This not only provided the benefit of some college education assistance, it also allowed him the opportunity to serve his country and travel to international assignments upon his graduation. After graduating from Benson High School in 1956, Gary continued on to complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Gary was active in Sigma Chi fraternity.

Upon graduation in 1961, Gary served in the U.S. Army and was stationed abroad in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Gary was a committed and diligent officer and quickly earned recognition and advancement. Upon his discharge in 1965, Gary was appointed Lieutenant and made Captain in the Reserves. Gary served his country well and was asked to continue on into a long-term military career; however he was personally committed to obtaining his advanced degree in geology and desired the opportunity to pursue his civilian life through oil and gas exploration. Gary received his master’s degree in geology from his alma mater, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in 1968.

Gary’s first position out of graduate school came with Amoco as a petroleum geologist, followed by subsequent positions with Anadarko (1972-1974) and Union Texas Petroleum (1974-1975). In 1975, Gary was hired by Southland Royalty Company as district geologist with supervisory responsibility for nine other geologists and exploration focused in the Powder River, Green River and Paradox/San Juan Basins. He was promoted to district exploration manager in 1981, managing a full team of geologists, geophysicists, landmen, and draftsmen. Under Gary’s leadership, two major joint venture programs for the company were launched and company production exceeded projections for the region.

In 1984, Gary joined Terra Resources, Inc. as geological manager in a similar capacity to Southland Royalty. In the seven years that Gary led the exploration team, he was recognized for his leadership, his dedication, and his management of several key successful drilling programs.

By 1991, Gary was ready to take over the reigns of his own business, and began a 12 year career as a highly regarded and experienced consulting geologist. Gary loved the independence and variety that was presented through multiple clients while still staying connected to his peers and associates throughout the industry. It was through his last consulting project where he teamed up with a group of other independent consultants when the brainchild of Laramie Energy was born. Gary was so inspired by the project and the management team that he gave up his love of consulting to become a founding member of a synergistic and successful oil company.

Gary’s time with Laramie took a radical turn, when in December 2005, he was diagnosed with the fatal neuromuscular disease known as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Gary accepted his diagnosis with grace and humility, never once questioning the reason for his terminal disease. He loved his work, and truly had no intentions of retirement, until his health took this significant turn.

Gary will be remembered for his quiet strength, courage, love of family and faith in God. Gary had many opportunities to advance within the oil and gas industry in cities such as Dallas and Houston, but his dedication toward family and desire to provide a consistent and balanced life for his children prevented him from pursuing those opportunities. Gary was truly the exception as one who excelled in his career without sacrificing his family’s love of the Denver area. He was wise beyond compare and never ceased to support all those in his life who loved him with a solid foundation and self confidence.
Gary Babcock is survived by his wife, Joyce, a daughter, Kim, of Littleton, Colorado, and a son, Scott, of Denver, Colorado. He is also survived by four grandchildren, all of whom he had the opportunity to greatly influence prior to his death.

A scholarship fund to support geology graduate students in Colorado has been established in Gary’s memory. To contribute, please make checks payable to RMAG Foundation and mail to 820 16th Street, Suite 505, Denver, CO 80202, specifying the Gary Babcock Memorial Scholarship Fund.