Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

MaryLou Babb

July 7, 1933 - June 20, 2024
Grand Rapids, MI


Memorial Mass

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Parish
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
1 (616) 453-6369

Visitation from 10 AM until the start of Mass



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Care Team Hospice
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


During her ninety years, MaryLou Babb had seen remarkable changes take place in the world. She lived through personal hardship and sorrow as well as joy and lasting love. Her long and varied experiences provided her with many opportunities to practice empathy, hospitality, and kindness. As a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she prioritized her family and loved spending time with them.

1933 was an anxious time for many Americans. The economy was beginning to recover from the stock market crash of 1929, but most people were still figuring out ways to make ends meet. In the midst of those dark days, a little light shone on Lewis and Mary (Manly) Weymer of Grand Rapids, Michigan, when their daughter MaryLou was born on July 7. Lewis provided for the family as a mattress maker. Mary managed the home, but sadly she died when MaryLou was only two years old. MaryLou was raised by Lydia Mack, an acquaintance of her father’s.

Lydia had two daughters, Charlotte and Leona. MaryLou spent many happy hours playing ball and hide-and-go-seek with them. The family lived at 16 Palmer Street NE, and later moved to Bridge Street NW, near what became the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. MaryLou attended Palmer Elementary School, and later Creston High School. While there, she participated in the basketball color guard and graduated with the class of 1951.

On the weekends, MaryLou loved joining the other area young people at dances, often at the Fraternal Order of Eagles on Front Avenue, a building previously known as the legendary Germania Hall. She also spent much of her time at her first job, making and serving soda drinks and ice cream sodas as a “soda jerk” at Hall’s Drug. It was there that she met someone who would change her life forever.

Like virtually everyone else at the time, a young man named Jack Babb sometimes stopped by the drug store after work for a soda. One day the soda jerk caught his eye. They struck up a conversation and the rest, as they say, is history. MaryLou and Jack dated for three years and then were married on June 26, 1954, at their home church, Second Congregational. The reception was at St. George’s Hall on the west side. The young couple traveled to Canada for their honeymoon, making a memorable stop at the stunning Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre in Quebec.

Jack worked as a draftsman for Dexter Lock Company, which closed its Grand Rapids plant and moved to Alabama in 1983. For about ten years, MaryLou worked as a service assistant for the Michigan Bell Telephone Company. The couple lived in an apartment on the northwest side of Grand Rapids for six months, and then bought a house at 1725 Fuller Avenue, where they lived for seven years. Together they had the joy of raising five sons: Dave, Terry, John, Chris, and Tim. In 1960, the Babbs moved to a house on Skyline Drive. That same year, MaryLou converted to Catholicism and the family became members at Holy Spirit Parish.

MaryLou was a committed and loving mom. The family enjoyed being together and took many trips in their pop-up camper, anywhere from Ludington State Park to Colorado to Montana. All the boys were fans of her pot roast and pizza, and MaryLou and Jack prioritized sit-down meals around the family table. She loved to sew and found joy in mending the boys’ clothes. The older four boys graduated from Union High School, and Tim graduated from West Catholic High School. As the family grew to include grandchildren, Mary’s love expanded to include them all.

MaryLou had several hobbies. She put her sewing skills to use by making wedding and bridesmaid dresses. She also took several ceramics classes and enjoyed giving her projects as gifts to family and friends. In quiet moments, MaryLou read nonfiction books and biographies. When company was over, she enjoyed cribbage, poker, and board games, and if she chose the background music it was Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, or Andy Williams. Watching game shows like Family Feud, Password, Dancing with the Stars, and Jeopardy was another favorite pastime. She loved playing the slots and was excited to visit Las Vegas a couple of times as well as Biloxi Casino in Mississippi. She also enjoyed Little River and Firekeepers close to home.

After Jack retired, they took several trips to the Caribbean. MaryLou and Jack both enjoyed golf and they figured out a way to get in even more games. They sold their house on Skyline Drive and then bought two trailers, one in Palmetto, Florida, for winter and another on Tyler Creek Golf Course in Alto, Michigan, for summer. Tragically, Jack was diagnosed with lung and liver cancer in 2009 and passed away a short time later in 2010.

MaryLou continued to live in Florida for a couple of years until her health issues forced her to sell both trailers and move into Grandview Apartments in Grand Rapids. She liked to play bingo at the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Spirit Parish. She continued to watch her game shows and buy “rip-offs,” her name for scratch-off lottery tickets. In 2020, she moved to the Villa Maria retirement home.

MaryLou leaves her family with many fond memories and the assurance of her love. She will be missed.

MaryLou died on June 20, 2024. She was preceded in death by her husband, John “Jack” Babb, Jr.; a daughter-in-law, Karen Babb; and a grandson, David Babb. She is survived by her five children: David Babb, Terry (Jan) Babb, John “Jack” (Lynne) Babb III, Chris (Jody) Babb, and Tim (Melissa) Babb; eighteen grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, at Holy Spirit Parish, 2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. The family will receive visitors for one hour prior to the Mass. Inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to Care Team Hospice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com where you may submit a favorite memory or photo or sign her online guestbook.