FARMERS BRANCH, TEXAS
Winnefred Elizabeth Babisak, 90, of Carrollton, Texas, died Feb. 19, 2008, in Carrollton.
She was born Nov. 15, 1917, in Stockton, New York, the daughter of the late Fred and Mary Ivett of Stockton, New York. She was the wife of Julius Babisak, a geologist, to whom she had been married for 65 years, and with whom she had moved 17 times. They settled in Dallas in 1984. A few weeks ago, she had a simple fall that seemed harmless. Within a few days, she went to the hospital for a week, rehab for two weeks, then to Hospice, and 90 beautiful years, 65 of them with her husband, were gone.
She was a graduate of Heidelberg College, in Tiffin. She earned a Bachelor of Music, and taught music at Margaretta High School in Castalia. In that era before World War II, Big Band music was at its height, and she and her future husband enjoyed dancing to that music at the many places the famous bands would perform along the south shore of Lake Erie; Guy Lombardo and the sweetest music this side of heaven, at Cedar Point, to Gyle Ombardo and the sweetest music this side of Elyria, Ohio, at Vermilion-on-the-Lake. It was fun.
She acquired a piano in Casper, Wyo., and a small Baldwin organ in Corpus Christi, Texas. She gave the piano to a similar moving geologic family who took it to Libya, Dubai, Somalia, the Philippines, Peru, and finally to Denver. The organ went with her. She played it for over 40 years. Almost every evening, for at least an hour, she played it and her husband accompanied her with some sort of electronic keyboard. The music was big band, hymns and folk. He often finished well ahead of her but she only smiled and played on. Expert and the Inept. Friends couldn't stand it, but the togetherness was beautiful.
In their many moves they were active in Methodist or Presbyterian Churches, leaving behind many memories and friends.
Having grown up in western New York, she then lived in Tiffin, Castalia, Dover, Del., Savannah, Ga., Rumford, R.I., East Quogue, Long Island, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, Lake Charles, La., Casper, Billings, Mont., Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Los Angeles, and finally in Farmers Branch, Texas. Even as she lived while growing up in rural western New York, in all places preferred to be outdoors in the yard or garden, as she did in the high-latitude, long daylight hours of western Canada, the perfect days of southern California, or the heat of Texas. Her performance in cooking, especially her version of Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls which were World Class, indicated her skills and desires. Friends were known to travel far to share in them.
She is survived by her husband; son, Ricky, and his wife Karen, who have three sons, Matt, and his wife Jennifer, their son and daughter, Caleb and Madison, Scott and his wife Georgie, and Kevin, who is in college. Win also has surviving granddaughter Jennifer, daughter of Frank and Kathie Fehmel. Kathie was Winnefred and her husband's first child, and died when Jennifer was a teenager. Win has an older sister, Jessamine, who lives in Santa Rosa, Calif., who has three daughters, in Boston, Mass., in Atlanta, Ga., and in San Francisco, Calif.
An older brother, Reginald, recently preceded her in death.
She will be cremated and all activities will be private. Friends are asked to include her in a prayer, especially when her favorite hymn is heard.
"In the garden of tomorrow
There is always sunshine
With relief from pain and sorrow
In this place of yours and mine"
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, P.O. Box 1890, Amarillo, TX 79174, 800-687-3722.