Com­pas­sion­ate, sen­si­tive trustee ‘ex­tremely com­mit­ted’

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - CAROL SAN­DERS carol.san­ders@freep­ress.mb.ca

AN out­spo­ken, long-serv­ing Win­nipeg school trustee who de­cided in Septem­ber not to run for re-elec­tion has died un­ex­pect­edly.

Mike Babin­sky, 56, died in hos­pi­tal Thurs­day, sources con­firmed.

Babin­sky served for 23 years as the Win­nipeg School Di­vi­sion’s trustee in Ward 8, af­ter be­ing elected to six con­sec­u­tive terms.

“We were sad­dened to learn of Mike Babin­sky’s sud­den pass­ing,” the school board’s new chair­man, Chris Broughton, told the Free Press Fri­day.

“Our thoughts are with Mike’s fam­ily, friends, and com­mu­nity.”

Babin­sky is sur­vived by his wife, An­drea, five chil­dren and 10 grand­chil­dren. He is pre­de­ceased by his son, Isaac.

In an in­ter­view with the Free Press in Septem­ber, Babin­sky talked about his de­ci­sion not to seek re-elec­tion on Oct. 24.

“These last 23 years in pol­i­tics have been an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, but the time has come for me to move on,” he said at the time.

Babin­sky, who was first elected in 1995, was known for speak­ing out when he sup­ported or dis­agreed with board de­ci­sions or mem­bers. He was cen­sured four times dur­ing his WSD ca­reer.

He left his mark, said Broughton, who was vice-chair­man for Babin­sky’s last term.

“His work to en­hance ed­u­ca­tion in the Win­nipeg School Di­vi­sion will be felt for gen­er­a­tions,” Broughton said.

“He was ex­tremely com­mit­ted to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. He def­i­nitely had a larger-than-life per­son­al­ity. He was also an ex­traor­di­nar­ily sen­si­tive in­di­vid­ual who had a lot of com­pas­sion for his com­mu­nity and work­ing for those who came be­fore the board.”

A spokesman for the fam­ily said Babin­sky had been in the hos­pi­tal for more than a week be­fore he died.

His fu­neral will be held Thurs­day at 1 p.m., at Cropo Fu­neral Chapel.

MIKE BABIN­SKY

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