Friday, November 17, 2023
4:00 PM EST
5588 Buttrick Ave SE
Alto, MI 49321
Light snacks and beverages will be served. We ask that you wear either purple (her favorite color) or Maize and Blue (her favorite team).
Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can certainly attest, Paula Babcock surely understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she was well known for her determination and her contagious sense of humor. Nothing brought Paula greater joy than spending time with her loved ones, even in the simplest of moments. Her heart of service allowed her to touch the lives of countless others, and her insatiable zest for life brought joy to all who were near. Forever loved, Paula will be dearly missed by those who knew her best.
The 1950s were some of the most vibrant years in America. Elvis Presley took the music world by storm, and as the decade came to a close we welcomed both Alaska and Hawaii as both our 49th and 50th states.
It was during this time that Clifford and Jane Hagen of Chicago, Illinois, were eagerly anticipating the birth of their second child. On January 23, 1958, their wait was over when they welcomed the baby girl they named Paula Jean into the world.
Growing up, Paula was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, alongside her two siblings, Linda and Dave. Paula’s father supported the family by working for Kraft while her mother remained close to home to raise her children. Throughout her childhood, Paula was known for being quiet and reserved. The Hagen family attended St. Paul Lutheran Church, giving Paula the opportunity to sing in the church choir with her father and helping her build the unshakeable foundation of her faith. A favorite memory of her childhood was traveling to Norway with her grandmother. Paula attended St. Paul Lutheran School and was involved in the Camp Fire Girls. She went on to graduate from Prospect High School in 1976, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Paula as she met the man who would soon become the love of her life. His name was Richard Babcock, and the two first met in 1977 after being introduced through mutual friends in Des Plaines, Illinois. At the time, Paula was working in customer service at Mohawk Carpet, and Richard was just out of the Marines. Their first date was to a restaurant and to see a movie by Mel Brooks, “Silent Movie.” The rest was history, as they say. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Paula and Richard were married at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mt. Prospect on June 3, 1978. The newlyweds then took a honeymoon to Yellowstone for two weeks before settling down in Chicagoland.
All who knew Paula can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her loved ones above all else. She and Richard were overjoyed to welcome their three children into their hearts and home. Seth joined the Babcock family in 1979, followed by Sara in 1981, and finally Sam in 1989. Paula truly thrived in her role as a mother and dedicated herself to raising her children. She taught them the importance of resilience and hard work, and she never missed one of her children’s activities or events. Paula remained close to her three children and was unspeakably proud to call herself the mother to two veterans and one active-service member. Seth, Sara, and Sam were her greatest joy in every way. Later in life, Paula was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother as well. She adored her grandchildren and doted on them whenever she could. Paula always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Never one to sit still for long, Paula pursued many hobbies in her free time. She enjoyed camping with her family, both in a tent and a pop-up. Ludington State Park was a favorite spot for the Babcocks. Paula loved the state of Michigan so much that she moved there in 1998, making it her home. She was an avid University of Michigan fan and even had a Michigan tattoo on her ankle. Holidays were spent cooking and putting up decorations with Sara, and on Black Friday every year Paula looked forward to shopping with Sam. She enjoyed old TV shows in addition to the Deadliest Catch. Paula loved being in nature, and she especially enjoyed summer and fall. She liked seeing lighthouses, and the Ludington Lighthouse was her favorite. Paula preferred to make and eat meals at home. She liked Chicken Divan and drinking her coffee with cream and a dash of sugar. In 2018, Paula participated in the Mackinac Bridge Walk, and in later years, she continued to do the walk with Sam.
When reflecting on the life of Paula Babcock, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She was a shining example of kindness, and she was a provider for many and a friend to all she met. A loving wife and mother, Paula’s family was her pride and joy. Her insatiable zest for life was a spark of light to those around her. Though she will be deeply missed, Paula leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry in her footsteps.
Paula Jean Babcock (Hagen) was born January 23, 1958 in Chicago to Clifford and Jane Hagen. She was called home on November 9, 2023. She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Richard Babcock, her son Seth Babcock, daughter in-law Helen Babcock, daughter Sara Mann (Babcock) and son Samuel Babcock. She was a grandmother to five, Stacey Mann Jr, Noah Babcock, Zoë Mann, Mason Mann and Hagan Babcock. She was also a great grandmother to Emerald Mann. She was a sister to Linda and David. An Aunt to Gretchen, Danae, Rachel, Kelly, Kyle, Caitlyn and Josh. She was a positive light in many people's lives and very much loved and truly missed. We hope and pray that Jesus will guide her into the loving arms of the Lord God.