Joseph Haines Babcock, 62, of Amherst, a computer systems manager in the physics department, died Nov. 17.
Born July 19, 1955, in Warren, Ohio, he moved with his family to Westfield while young. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in music education and taught music in the Pretty Prairie, Kansas, public schools for a year. He returned to Massachusetts and earned another degree, in data processing, from Springfield Technical Community College, after which worked at a high-tech firm near Boston.
He joined UMass Amherst in 1988 as a systems analyst in IT and worked in Research and Instructional Services and Library/Administrative Services before moving to the physics department in 1997.
He participated in an exchange program with the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute in 1990, spending a month in the former Soviet Union helping to modernize computer systems within the institute and studying Russian.
He attended night classes at the Stillpoint School of Massage and became a licensed massage therapist in 1999. He worked with various men’s sports teams at the university and developed his own client base. He also enjoyed taking classes at the Culinary Arts Institute in New York City.
He leaves his spouse and partner of 34 years Bruce Carson; his father Joseph C. Babcock and wife Judy of Springfield; sister Lynda Hinckley and husband George of Pittsfield; stepsister Maureen Russell and husband Michael of Wilbraham; and stepbrother Michael Reilly of San Francisco.
Memorial contributions may be made to one of his favorite places for biking and walking: Look Park, 300 North Main St., Florence 01062.