Genrikh Babich, 88, of Madison passed away on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 after a short battle with illness. The only child of Hanin Babich and Liya Shtivelbandt. Genrikh was born on August 5th, 1929 in Berdichev, Ukraine. Following World War II Genrikh met his future wife Galina, on a hiking trip in the Caucasus mountains. They were married in 1952 in Moscow, where both were studying. Few years later, they had their only child, Helen. Genrikh worked as an engineer, later earning a PhD in computer systems engineering. He worked in the Moscow Scientific Research Institute designing computerized control systems. Genrikh was one of the earliest computer coders in Russia, writing code in the very first computer languages.
Genrikh and Galina continued hiking and travelling their entire lives, taking many trips with family and friends to explore mountain ranges throughout the former Soviet Union. In 1993 they immigrated to the US to join Helen and her family in Madison. Upon arriving in the US Genrikh immersed himself in learning about his new country. He and Galina took road trips across the continent, visiting more than 35 states and Canada. They also used their new freedom to explore the world, and travelled extensively throughout Europe, the Americas, and Israel.
Genrikh fueled his insatiable curiosity by auditing classes at UW-Madison for over twenty years, studying US and world history, political science, philosophy and sociology, and the arts. Genrikh enjoyed these classes, often saying that he was relearning subjects he thought he knew from his Soviet education. He also ingrained himself in his new community through his writing. He had a monthly column in the Jewish Federation's Monthly Reporter and published numerous articles in online forums. These activities provided endless topics of conversation with his family and friends about politics, philosophy, current events and social issues, and technological developments, which will be dearly missed. His sincerity, kindness, and support will also be missed by all who were fortunate enough to experience it.
Genrikh is survived by his daughter, Helen, grandchildren Alina (Judah) Viola and Pavel Sternberg, great-granddaughters Liya and Ellie Viola, as well as extended family members Alexander, Julia, and Boris Krichevsky and Luba and Aaron Kats. Genrikh was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 65 years and his son-in-law Alexander Sternberg.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018 from 4-6pm, at Cress Funeral Home at 6021 University Ave, followed by an open house at Helen's home. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Madison Jewish Federation's Camp Shalom Scholarship Fund.
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