Doane Beal & Ames

160 West Main Street, Hyannis, MA


Rosa Babcock

July 22, 1937May 19, 2020

COTUIT - Rosa B. Babcock died quietly on May 19, 2020 at Harbor Point in Centerville due to COVID-19. Born in Newburgh, New York, she was the daughter of the late Frederick C. and Rosa M. Balfe, and the sister of Frederick M. Balfe.

A graduate of the Oak Grove School and Smith College, Rosa found her true vocation when, having moved to Dallas, Texas, with her husband and their children, she earned a master’s degree at the University of North Texas in Library Science and went to work for the Dallas County Community College District, first at its suburban Richland campus and then at its inner-city El Centro campus where she worked for almost 30 years. Her encounters with refugee students from across the globe led her to return to school yet again in the late 1980s to take a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at St. Michael’s College in Vermont. Upon her return to El Centro, she became head of its ESL program, responsible both for setting its curriculum and for hiring and supervising its faculty.

After retiring to Cape Cod in 2005, Rosa continued her ESL involvement by teaching briefly in Cape Cod Community College’s Access Program and then by tutoring for many years in its Tutoring and Writing Centers. In retirement, she was an active member of the Osterville Garden Club, holding a variety of positions on its Board. She and her husband traveled extensively, especially to explore the remains of the ancient world and the monuments of medieval culture. In addition, she served a term on the Board of the Cotuit Library and was, in her last years, a devoted member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Barnstable and a faithful volunteer at Hyannis West Elementary School.

Rosa is survived by Bill, her husband of almost 60 years, by her son Michael (and his wife, Lizzie Rowen) of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, by her daughter Hilary (and her husband, Andy White) of St. Louis, Missouri, and by three grandchildren whom she adored: Jackson, Hannah, and Carter White. The family would like to express its gratitude to Harbor Point and to Broad Reach Hospice for the care they provided at the end of Rosa’s life.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Rosa’s memory to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (stmarys-church.org), to the Foundation of the Dallas County Community College District (foundation.dcccd.edu) or to the Cotuit Library (cotuitlibrary.org). For online condolences please visit www.doanebealameshyannis.com. Funeral services will be arranged at a later date.


  • Funeral services will be arranged at a later date.


Rosa Babcock

have a memory or condolence to add?

Richard Mikolajczak

May 28, 2020

Prayers for the family! Rosa was a wonderful person and a great Tutor.

Katie Campbell

May 22, 2020

Miss Rosa volunteered in my ELL second grade classroom at Hyannis West Elementary . She came in after formal reading group time was finished and my students were getting ready to write independently. Miss Rosa was kind , gentle, knowledgeable, and absolutely wonderful. She was like a quiet angel who assisted each child’s need, whether it be academic or just a little tender loving care. My heart breaks to hear about her passing but I truly believe she is heaven right now.

Mary Berh Curran

May 22, 2020

I would like to say how much I enjoyed Rosa coming into Hyannis West Elementary School every week! Rosa always made me laugh
with her great sense of humor! I am the one who would "push the button" to let Rosa into school for her volunteering visits. Rosa always told me how much she enjoyed the students and staff.

Please accept my deepest condoleces,

Mary Beth Curran
Administrative Assistant
Hyannis West Elementary School


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