Barbara Jean Babcock

September 17, 1926December 3, 2018

Barbara Jean (Robinson) Babcock, AKA BJ, 92, former owner of Elk Rapids Progress Newspaper & Printing and more recently known as the “extra sample demo lady” at Sams Club in Traverse City passed away at Cherry Suite Nursing Home in Elk Rapids Dec. 3, 2018. Barbara was born in Mt. Pleasant, MI on Sept. 17, 1926 to Frederick and Pearl (Walker) Robinson. She attended Mt. Pleasant High Schools, and graduated in 1944. While working at the Morning Sun Newspaper after graduation, she met her to be husband Samuel “Ward” Babcock. They were married on October 15, 1948. The couple proceeded to move north to Elk Rapids, and purchased their newspaper business which they maintained for over 40 years. Barb was a very hardworking individual, and spent her time divided between her family and business. In her spare free time, she enjoyed shopping, traveling, and attending the Elk Rapids Senior Center activities. One of her saying remembered by her family was “If the car is going, I’m in it”. She lived a very active life; traveling to California with her son, Alaska via a Winnebago, and to Hawaii to visit her daughter and family. She attended many horse shows, hockey games and concerts at Interlochen. She enjoyed partaking in wine tastings with her son Fred, along with many other numerous adventures. Her famous words “never wanting to be caught dead in my chair” speak loudly to her zest for living. Barbara is survived by her children: James (Joy) of Boyne City and their sons, Nick (Marilyn), Kip (Michelle), Jeremy, and children Elizabeth (Kristofer) Hoffman, Heather Poston, (fiancée Zack Huggs), Bekah Poston,and Kylee Babcock; Robert (Judy) of Bear Lake and their family of 3 children, 13 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren; Carolyn Brown of Elk Rapids and her family, Samuel “Sam” , Samantha Blakeslee (Whitney), Anthony (Jen), Jeannette (Junior Tuberquia) and their children, Mackenna, Isabelle, and Pablo; Jean (Steven) Hatch of North Pole Alaska and Elk Rapids and their daughters Barbara (Clint) of Fairbanks Alaska, Sasha (Dustin) Kincaid of Anchorage Alaska, son Kyle (Lisa) Hatch of Omaha Nebraska and their children Keegan, & Kelly Ragan, Kelsey & Sydney Kincaid, and Hudson & Lauren Hatch; Frederick (Nancy) of Sun Prairie Wisconsin and daughter Angela (Christopher) Eggen, son Jabin (Stephanie) and their children Jade & Taylor; Nancy (Larry) Wilson of Elk Rapids, and their family Chad (Jen), daughter Brynn and son Bryce, Olivia, Tyler (Mary); Phillip (Bonnie) of Williamsburg and their daughters Madison and Jordan. She was Preceded in death by her husband Samuel on March 5, 1987,also her parents and four siblings, grandson Jason Olds Wilson and great-grandaughter Elizabeth Marie Brown. Visitation will be held at the Covell Funeral Home in Elk Rapids on Sunday, December 9, 2018 from 4-7:00 pm, and at Christ the King Church in Williamsburg on Monday, Dec. 10 from 10:00 a.m. until time of the service at 11:00 a.m., Fr. Ray Cotter officiating. Burial will take place in the spring at Maple Grove Cemetery. The family believes that even though they have suffered a great loss, they find comfort in knowing she is in a happier place. Memorials may be directed to the Antrim County Cancer Society.


  • Visitation Sunday, December 9, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 10, 2018

Barbara Jean Babcock

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mary Korson

December 9, 2018

I'll miss my cookie monster at our holiday get togethers.

Mary Thayer

December 5, 2018

Dear Carolyn, Jean, Fred, Nancy and Phil,
We were so sad to hear about your mom's passing. She was such a lovely lady and was always happy to see us and visit a few minutes. I admired her sassy, can do attitude and her ability to manage your large family and the shop, even from her wheelchair! One of her greatest joys, I imagine, was having you all back in the fold to share her last few years.
I miss my mom everyday, as you will, but be assured that her goodness, grace and kindness will be reflected in each of you, your children, and grandchildren forever.
Love to all,
Dave and Mary Thayer