Elbert Ray “Babe” Dabbs departed this life Friday, July 24, 2020. He was born March 7, 1929 to William Joseph and Ethel Mae Dabbs. Mr. Dabbs is predeceased by his parents, a brother William Leonard Dabbs, sons Dennis Ray Dabbs and Gary Lynn Dabbs, daughter Holly Dabbs Whitcombe, and grandson Josh Lee Phillips.
Mr. Dabbs is survived by his wife of 70 years, the love of his life, Mildred Doyle Dabbs, daughters Patti Dabbs Thompson and Cindy Dabbs Phillips (Bill). His beloved grandchildren, Meritt Hutchison, Joseph Dabbs, Aaron Thompson (Blyss), Terry Phillips (Mandy), Jeremy Phillips (Noy), Colbie Berchie (Raphael), Britton Steward (Jake), Will Phillips, Rob Phillips, and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Floyd Glenn Dabbs (Ardis) and many nieces and nephews.
Babe was born, raised, and lived his entire life of 91 years on the families Arkansas Century Farm where he farmed for 75 years. As a life-long farmer and conservationist, he and his family won numerous awards. A few of the awards are 1969 Southeast Arkansas Farm Family of the Year, 1973 Soybean Award for High Yield, Top 10 Rice Producer – Rice Farming for Profit Award, 2007 Feature Story in Arkansas Wildlife for Waterfowl Conservation, 2008 Farm Bureau Innovative Farmer, and Arkansas Century Farmer.
As a young boy he grew to love hunting, fishing, playing ball, and working on the families Arkansas Century Farm. Babe went duck hunting by himself at the age of 12 and became a duck guide soon afterward. His easygoing personality and energetic work ethic, combined with innate duck guiding abilities led to a means of support for his family during the winter, and Arkansas State Duck Calling Championships in 1957 and 1969. He and his daughter Patti formed a doubles meat calling team and won the Brushy Creek Doubles Duck Calling Contest. After winning several duck calling championships Mr. Dabbs became the founder of Ace Duck Calls.
Mr. Dabbs’ life-long love of coon hunting led him to raise champion coon dogs that qualified annually to compete at the World Coon Hunt, as well as winning the National Futurity with his dog Spider. Due to these accomplishments he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Competitive Coon Hunting from the Louisiana Coon Hunters Association and was inducted into the 2011 Professional Kennel Club Hall of Fame.
Babe enjoyed playing baseball and basketball for Humphrey High School and graduated in 1947. Due to his love of sports he became a die-hard Arkansas Razorback and St. Louis Cardinals fan. As an adult he contributed to his alma mater by serving on the school board.
With his children’s increased interest in raising and showing cattle for 4-H and FFA projects, Mr. Dabbs and his family purchased land which became a cattle farm. He later became a board member for numerous fair boards, was Vice President of the Southeast Arkansas District Fair, and a member of the Arkansas Angus Association Board of Directors.
Mr. Dabbs was always willing to serve his community. He was a 20-year member of the Riceland Electric Board of Directors and a judge for the World Championship Duck Calling Contest.
Babe was a Christian and a member of the Humphrey Church of Christ. Memorials may be made to the Humphrey Church of Christ in care of John Harrison, 21 Senning Loop, Humphrey, AR or the Babe and Gary Dabbs Alumni Memorial Scholarship, Stuttgart FFA Chapter, 2501 S. Main St., Stuttgart, AR, 72160.
Funeral services are 11 a.m. Wednesday at Turpin Funeral Home with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the services will be limited to immediate family members only in the interest of public safety.
Please go to www.turpin-co.com to sign the online guestbook.