News spread quickly on Friday (July 19) around the RV-building hub of Elkhart, Ind., of the untimely passing of former Forest River Inc. executive Jeff Babcock, a 52-year-old Elkhart native and Bristol resident who died Friday morning in an Indianapolis hospital after experiencing a stroke.

Babcock, a former Elkhart Central High School star athlete, last served a year and a half ago as general manager of Forest River’s diesel division. In his tenure with the company beginning in 1996, he also managed the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary’s lineup of Georgtown Class A’s, Sunseeker Class C’s, Dynamax Super C’s and Class C’s and Cardinal fifth-wheels.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform our Forest River Inc. family that after a brief illness Jeffery B. Babcock passed away this morning,” Forest River employees were informed Friday afternoon. “He was surrounded by family and love. We appreciate all the outpouring of love and concern during this difficult time. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Arrangements are pending.”

Babcock is survived by his wife, Kathy Babcock, mother Peg Recchio, and father, John C. Babcock, as well as siblings Lisa Grise, John Babcock, Michael Babcock, Michel Curth, Nick Recchio, Angie Recchio, Heather Hartman and Jaccinda Nelson.