Traverse City Record-Eagle


June 8, 2014

Phyllis J. Babcock

LAKE ANN — Phyllis Jane (Keene) Babcock, of Lake Ann, passed away of natural causes at the age of 96 on March 22, 2014. Phyillis was born in Scottville on July 9, 1917, to Karl S. and Mable I. (Pugh) Keene.

The Keene family moved to Traverse City when Phyllis was a young girl. She excelled in school and graduated from Traverse City Central in 1934 at age 16, having skipped a grade. She attended Olivet in art design for a short time but left before graduation to marry Mark G. Babcock on Nov. 5, 1938. They were married 64 years before his passing in 2002.

Phyllis became a homemaker of four homes from Michigan to South Carolina to Florida and back to Lake Ann in her final years. She became a mother in 1948 to Barbara and 1951 to Rick.

In the ‘50s she was a “pink lady” volunteer for the children’s wing at Munson hospital.

She loved Jesus Christ, his word and loved her church in each hometown. Her faith was what brought strength and hope to her for her family, friends and herself. She loved God’s creation and it was evident in her paintings and photography. She was proud to be an American and proud of America’s flag of freedom. She was very involved in the L.A.U.M. Church Women group and Bible studies.

She was a great baker of pies, especially apple, cherry and rhubarb.

Her family and friends were her joy in life. Her mission in life was to love and care for them. She will be greatly missed.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Mark; her brother, Mac Keene; sister, Doris (Keene) Martin; granddaughter, Connie Lin Green; sisters-in-law; brothers-in-laws; and nephews.

She is survived by her son, Rick and wife, Mariel Babcock; step grandchildren, Jorge and Irianis, all of Greenville, S.C.; granddaughter, Marci Babcock, of San Diego, Calif.; grandson, Jason (Amber) Lewis; great-grandchildren, Lindsay and Jaxon Lewis, of Dallas, Texas; daughter, Barbara and Ed Smith, of Lake Ann; granddaughter, Laurie (Forest) Bauers; and great-grandson, Uriah, all of Hakalau, Hawaii; granddaughter, Cassie (Derrick) Vargo, of Grand Rapids; sister, Jeanne Baker, of Memphis, Tenn.; sister-in-law, Bette (Babcock) Fahrenholz, of St. Anthony, Minn.; and many nieces and nephews

A celebration of Phyllis’ life will be held at the Lake Ann United Methodist Church, Village Center, on June 14, 2014, at 1:30 p.m.

Memorials may be made in Phyllis’ name to the Lake Ann United Methodist Women, Cherryland Humane Society, Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of choice.

Please visit to share your memories of Phyllis.

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