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Betty Babcock

Eliza Wiley Independent Record - First Lady Betty Babcock will be celebrating her 90th birthday at The Babcock Ball tonight at the Red Lion Colonial Hotel. Hosted by the Montana Republican Party the semi-formal event begins at 7 pm and offers hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and dancing.

Former first lady Betty Babcock has lived a long, fascinating life and the Montana Republican Party is hosting a party today in honor of her 90th birthday.

“Betty is an integral part of Montana and we want to honor her on her birthday,” says Lindsey Grovom with the Montana Republican Party. “I think when people think about the Babcocks it’s with favor. Once you meet them, you love them.”

There will be plenty of Democrats attending, Betty Babcock said Friday afternoon.

“She doesn’t hold political boundaries,” Grovom said.

Betty’s birthday is actually March 11, but she’ll spend that day with her family enjoying a good meal.

Saturday’s shindig is for friends the couple has made along their incredible journey together.

Betty’s husband, Tim Babcock, was elected lieutenant governor in 1960. But one year into office, Gov. Donald Nutter was killed in a place crash.

The couple met at Dawson County High School in Glendive. They were in history class together, and Betty says neither enjoyed it. Today, they both love history.

Last September, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Together they’ve survived Tim’s more than two years at war, operation of a successful trucking business, raised two daughters, and built the Colonial Inn in Helena. They once owned the Ox Bow cattle ranch near Wolf Creek and KBLL radio.

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Betty has had ventures of her own. She served as a Montana legislator, was elected delegate to the convention that rewrote Montana’s constitution in 1972 and authored a cookbook that sold more than 100,000 copies.

She tirelessly has worked to preserve the Original Governor’s Mansion and the Capitol building, believing that those buildings should never “go in disrepair.” Betty served on the Shodair Children’s Hospital board for 26 years, starting the popular trick-or-treating at the Governor’s Mansion, and still volunteers for multiple nonprofits.


Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081, or


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