Tuesday, December 18, 2018
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Dar's favorite drink and other refreshments will be served.
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.
Remembrance Church Mission Fund
4575 Remembrance Rd NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Darlene Babcock would agree that she was one of the most amazing people in the world. She was hardworking, dedicated, and strong with a funny and quirky side that loved making others laugh. There was no greater gift in Dar’s life than her family, and she was so proud to witness her family grow to include the children and grandchildren she adored. Whether they were right or wrong, she would protect her loved ones no matter the personal cost. Although she experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, what made these things so extraordinary was sharing them with her family and friends. Dearly loved, Dar will be forever missed.
During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as countless young servicemen and women were deeply entrenched in the throes of WWII. It was during this same time that Lyle and Marjorie (Broton) McWilliams were blessed with the birth of their twins, Darlene Rae and Donald on January 29, 1944, in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. They were also joined in their family by their younger sister, Judy, and their brother, Dan. At the time Darlene’s father was in the Army and serving in WWII, but once the war was over they settled in Grand Haven, Michigan. While there she attended local schools including Ferry and White Elementary schools.
Life was forever changed for Darlene when she met the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Chet Babcock, and they actually met in a rather unusual way as he was the tow truck driver who was dispatched to help her out when her car battery died while on a date. In fact, Chet even paid the bill since Dar’s date didn’t have the money to cover it! As fate would have it, they were set up on a blind date a short time later, and they immediately recognized one another as Chet remembered her as the pretty blonde with car trouble. They dated during their senior year and for several more years while in college after graduating in 1962. Since he was in college in Chicago while Dar was in school at Muskegon Community College, they wrote several letters back and forth. She always loved being at the beach and was even a model for the Musical Fountain in Grand Haven while it was being dedicated.
Eager to build a life together, Dar and Chet were married on May 23, 1964, at Spring Lake Presbyterian Church. After a honeymoon at Torch Lake for a week, the newlyweds returned and purchased a home near Riverside Park. Together they welcomed three children, David in 1968, Scott in 1971, and Angie in 1975, into their hearts and home. Dar worked in business office for several dealerships in Grand Rapids and Grand Haven, and in 1979 they established Insulation Environmental Services and then DRB Enterprises. Dar put in a work day at home taking care of kids and then took care of the books for Chet at night. Their bustling family moved to the home they built at 13130 14th Avenue, NW, and remained there until 2017. This is also where all of their children were raised. Hardworking and efficient, Dar also sewed many of their clothes as well as clothes for Angie’s dolls. She was a great cook, but Chet did the cooking for Sunday dinners and holidays to give her a break. Dar also spent time at her parent’s home on Sundays to visit and also to help them around the house. She effortlessly managed her home, serving others, and also working.
There was nothing Dar loved more than having fun with her family. Her favorite moments were spent camping during the summer as nearly the entire season was spent moving from Grand Haven State Park, Brower Park, and Pentwater. Dar did whatever she needed to make this happen, even standing in line to secure a camping spot at midnight! The kids loved it just as much as she did, and although Chet worked during the week he came up on the weekend. They also had great camping friends.
As her family and friends can attest, Dar was truly extraordinary. She fiercely protected her family no matter the circumstance, and since she was such a character her family and friends often compared her to Lucille Ball. Dar was primarily an extrovert, but she did like her quiet time as she often hid away with a great book. She was famous for her pranks, and it has even been said that Dar was the one who invented the whiskey in a syrup bottle trick so she could get away with alcohol while camping. Dar loved gardening, and she took pulling weeds to a whole new level as it has been said that her yard was her world. As members of the Elks for more than 40 years, she regularly went there with friends. Their family often went there for Sunday brunch as well. Dar was passionate about JFK, and she also loved Donald Trump. Dar and Chet enjoyed traveling as they went to Ireland, the Bahamas, and on an Alaskan cruise, and in more recent years they took their motorhome to the Tampa area, Florida, or to the Disney area. They later purchased a condo in Palm Harbor, and she loved having her children and grandchildren to visit there. Although they had to travel back to Michigan for work at times, this year was to be their first full year of retirement as they sold the business to their son, David in November of 2017.
With a contagious zest for life, Darlene Babcock touched the lives of so many in a special way. She was the heartbeat of wherever she went, and she had a way of taking even the ordinary things and making them extraordinary. Dar’s devotion to her loved ones was unmatched, and she was an amazing role model for her children and grandchildren. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
BABCOCK – Darlene Rae Babcock age 74, of Grand Rapids, passed away on December 13, 2018. She was preceded in death by her twin brother, Donald. Darlene is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Chester “Chet” Babcock; children, David and Tracy Babcock and their children, Mackenzie, Shelby, Kylee and Brayden; Scott Babcock and his children, Jordan and Mason; and Angie Babcock-Wilson and her children, Connor, Jacob, Aiden and Brady. Also surviving are her sister, Judy and Maynard Garner; brother, Dan and Cindy McWilliams; several nieces and nephews; and many, many friends who were the light of her world. Visit with family and friends while sharing refreshments and her favorite drink from 5-8 PM on Tuesday, December 18 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Family and friends will also meet for one hour prior to the Memorial Service, which will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at Remembrance Church, 4575 Remembrance Rd NW. Contributions in her memory may be made to Faith Hospice or Remembrance Church Mission Fund. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read Darlene’s lifestory, submit a favorite memory, picture or to sign the online guestbook.