On Oct. 11, 2015, we lost our lifelong example of compassion, thoughtfulness, and selflessness. Mary Ella (Galinski) Babcock, 87, beloved wife of Dr. Francis Lee Babcock, passed away from multiple organ failure at her home in Green Valley, Ariz.
Mary was born in Gary, W.Va., on Feb. 16, 1928, and grew up in Elkton, Md. She was a graduate of Elkton High School.
She is survived by her sister: Neta Foley, Havre de Grace, Md.; her children: Mary Theressa “Terry” Babcock, Tucson, Ariz.; Lawrence Alexander “Larry” Babcock, Fort Wayne; Robert Allen (Susan) Babcock Sr., Rome, Ga.; William Howard Babcock, Rome, Ga.; Rebecca (Andrew) Babcock Kelly, New Orleans, La.; and her grandchildren: R. Allen Babcock Jr., Leysin, Switzerland; Andrew Cooper (India) Babcock; and Bradley Ross Pollard, Rome, Ga.; Kathleen Mariella Kelly; and Eamon Francis Kelly, New Orleans, La.; as well as her treasured nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her parents: Alexander Joseph and Lula Pearl (Terry) Galinski; her sister: Helen Liberatore, Havre de Grace, Md.; and her granddaughter: Mary Alice Babcock, Rome, Ga. Her husband, known to his friends as “Bud” and his patients as “Doc”, stayed with us for just two more months until his passing on Dec. 23, 2015. On March 25, 2016, her younger sister: Elva Galyen, passed away in Elkton, Md.
Tenacity and willpower helped our mother through difficult experiences — most especially the loss of her granddaughter to ARVD, several years of shots into her eyes to slow the effects of macular degeneration, and aggressive cancer treatment when she was in her 70s. But mother’s resilience, love for her family, innate need to help those less fortunate in the community, and deep faith in God brought her joy each day, despite the challenges that some days held.
Our favorite memories of Mary’s well-lived life include her almost-world-famous jams, jellies, preserves, pickled vegetables, and relish; homemade, candy-decorated cakes for holiday parties at school; awakening us for our early morning paper routes (“commitment” and “duty” weren’t very popular words at 6 a.m., but became a strong part of our moral fiber); going to libraries and schools to put on “Seymour Safely” puppet shows; her softball playing days; disco dancing lessons at La Tavola; getting up before dawn to go pick whatever fruit or vegetable was in season that week; her favorite bowling trophies from her days of league play at the Culver Bowling Alley; shoes, shoes, and more shoes!; tens of thousands of memorable hours of volunteer work with her dearest friends in the United Methodist Women’s organization at Wesley United Methodist Church, Culver, and Catalina Methodist Church, Tucson, Ariz.; enjoying water aerobics at Ancilla College, Plymouth, and later with Silver Sneakers, Green Valley, Ariz.; and donating
gallons upon gallons of blood to local blood banks over more than 50 years.
While her enigmatic smile made us smile in kind, mother’s trademark dry wit and quick retorts were utterly magnificent to behold. Her family is thankful for Mary’s nearly 12 years of cancer remission – and with it, 12 extra years of memories — travel adventures to Europe, coin collecting, vacations with her children and grandchildren, more hours reading and not watching sports with her “boyfriend” (64 years of marriage and she still called him that!).
In honor of Mary Ella Galinski Babcock’s service to her community, please consider doing something kind for a friend or stranger. Make someone else’s day a bit easier or happier, just as our mother would have done.
In accordance with their wishes, Mary and Bud’s ashes will be interred together during a private, graveside memorial service that will be held at the Culver Masonic Cemetery, Culver, on June 29.
Odom Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.