Dahlia Legacy Project

By the Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers

Andrew “Andy “Babb was born April 25, 1909, in Greenville, Tennessee. His parents were William and Martha Babb. He spent his high school years in Washtucna, Washington and graduated from Blair Business College in Spokane, Washington in 1931.  Andy was married in 1942 to Alice Snape. They were married in Bremerton, Washington. The couple had two children, son Ron, and daughter, Barbara. Andy served in the Navy during World War II from 1942 to 1945. He worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard for 40 plus years retiring in 1973. His wife, Alice, passed away in 1975.

It was during his time in the shipyard that he was introduced to dahlias. A co- worker brought some into work and Andy was amazed by their colors and size. His co-worker gave him some tubers and Andy was “hooked” on dahlias. He became an active horticulturalist who was active in several dahlia organizations. He participated in the Northwest Dahlia Conference, the Kitsap County Dahlia Society and the American Dahlia Society. Andy held officer positions in both NW Dahlia Conference and the KCDS.

One of the areas of notoriety for Andy was his involvement in the Trial Garden at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. He was also known as an area dahlia hybridizer. He introduced several varieties including Barbara Jo in 1965 and Zing in 1966. Barbara Jo is a dark red, B-sized Semi Cactus and Zing is a dinnerplate sized semi-cactus that is a light blend of white and pink.

By 1991 Andy had stopped showing dahlias. Instead, he was focusing on judging at dahlia shows and teaching others about growing dahlias. Andy Babb died September 17, 2001 in Bremerton, Washington.

Hall of Fame – Nomination

In the early 1920’s, Andy Babb was instrumental in promoting the Kitsap County Dahlia Society through its infancy. Over the years he shared his knowledge of growing and exhibiting dahlias with many new members. In 1966 he introduced his origination, Zing (A SC LB W/PK), which was popular for many years.

In 1976 Andy was named Director of the ADS Pacific Northwest Trial Garden – Tacoma. At that time the trial garden was situated in Point Defiance Park on a hill overlooking Commencement Bay. He held this position until 1985.

During the early years of the Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers, Andy continued to share his knowledge of the dahlia at workshops and judging classes. Those who knew and worked with him remember him as being dignified, patient and a true gentleman. Andy passed away in 2001 at the age of 92.

Kitsap County Dahlia Society members would like to honor Andy Babb for his 60 years of gentle and supportive promotion of dahlias and dahlia growers.

Dahlia Originations


Awards and Memorabilia


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