This Grieving Man's Most Romantic Tribute To His Wife

August 24, 2015Aug 24, 2015

Don and Babbette Jaquish had a love that emanated to all those around them.


“They were very much in love with each other. My mom would have done anything for him and he would have done anything for her,” Babbette's daughter Jenny White told ABC News.

“Everyone that ever met Babbette fell in love with her,” Don said. “I was just lucky enough to be the guy that she fell in love with.”  

Babbette was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2006 and underwent 22 different treatments, many of which were clinical trials.  She so deeply believed in fighting for a cure--both for her and the countless other cancer victims.

Her husband said, "She realized the importance of research in clinical trials. She went from being expected to live two weeks to two months to nine years.  Her attitude was everyday I can stay alive I’m one day closer to a cure.”

Sunflowers were Babbette's favorite flower, and after her diagnosis, she and her husband--a cash grain farmer--planted hundreds of acres on their property. This led to her idea to raise sunflowers and sell the seeds to fund cancer research.

But as Babbette's health declined, they had to pause the business idea.  And sadly, on November 17, 2014, Babbette lost her fight to cancer.

So to honor her, Don Jaquish planted nearly 400 acres of sunflowers for her.  He told ABC, “She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside."


Don planted the flowers all along Wisconsin's Highway 85 in Eau Claire, even renting some of the land from his neighbors to honor his wife.

“She got to be known as the sunflower lady of the community. So after she passed away, I thought it would be a tribute to her to plant 4.5 miles of sunflowers on each side of Highway 85," Jaquish said. 

He also started Babbette's Seeds Of Hope, Babbette's dream company that would raise and sell sunflower seeds to benefit cancer research.

Don honored his wife in a way that will live on, even helping to save others' lives. Isn't that the most romantic way someone could honor the love of their life?