Solomon J. Babani
Solomon J. Babani
Known affectionately as "Sam" to close friends and family, Solomon J. Babani, 89, passed away on June 25, surrounded by his family.
Solomon was born in Seattle on November 6, 1922, to Jacob and Vergel Babani. His early years were spent in Seattle, Washington, and in Portland, Oregon, where a large extended family lived, and continues today.
Like most young Sephardic men of his generation, Solomon was a student at the "Heder" (religious school) of Rev. Morris Scharhon. It was here he met his future wife, Sara, with whom he shared almost 68 years of marriage. They were married in July 1944. Their five children have given Solomon and Sara thirteen grandchildren, and (to date) eleven great-grandchildren.
Solomon was at home in virtually all the elements of nature. He was an avid boater and fisherman, and even built a 17-foot cabin cruiser from scratch. He served his country as a U.S. Naval flight officer, flying and navigating a variety of aircraft during World War II and the Korean conflict. Solomon was very proud of his military service, and even late in life continued to stay in touch with comrades from his various units, and periodically attended squadron reunions.
Solomon's love of airplanes and technical talents carried over quite naturally to his chosen career. He worked for forty-five years at The Boeing Company, primarily in Commercial Airplanes, and played key roles in virtually all airplane programs. He was instrumental in opening up the Everett plant, and spent many years driving up and down I-5 during the 747 and 767 days.
In the Navy, at Boeing, and in service to others, Solomon was always known as a "go- to" guy. Friends, relatives, neighbors, and assorted community leaders always knew they could "call Sam Babani" when they needed something particularly challenging done.
Adept at woodworking, carpentry, metalwork, and all manner of repair, Solomon could do it all. He especially enjoyed and valued the camaraderie that came with working as a group. He was very active in the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation, serving for decades on the Building Committee. Solomon and Sara have been long-time supporters of Jewish education, sending all five of their children to the Seattle Hebrew Academy.
Solomon was preceded in death by his sister, Regina (Jean) Haleva. He is survived by his wife, Sara; children Jack (Betsy), Morris (Sharon), Ben (Lesa), Sam (Vicki Lynn), and Virginia Russell (Barry); thirteen grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.
The family acknowledges with gratitude the kind, sensitive care given to Solomon by the staffs at Swedish Hospital, The Summit at First Hill, and the Caroline Kline Galland Home.
Funeral was held on June 27. Tribute donations can be made to the Sephardic Bikur Holim Congregation, the Kline Galland Center, or the Seattle Hebrew Academy.
Published in The Seattle Times on July 1, 2012