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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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November 19, 2019

10/10/2019 7:30:00 AM
Shirley Joan Babcock

Shirley Joan Babcock, age 87 of Rhinelander, died peacefully on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 at Ascension St. Mary's Hospital in Rhinelander. She was born on March 24, 1932, in Antigo, to Cecil and Irma (Fischer) Sheldon.

Shirley attended schools in Rhinelander and graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1950.

After graduating from Rhinelander High School Shirley attended college at Carroll University in Waukesha, where she met her husband of 25 years Richard Babcock. They were married in 1952 and after receiving her bachelor's degree moved to Wisconsin Rapids. In 1971 she received her master's degree in speech pathology from the University of Stevens Point. She used her degree not only in the United States but in numerous other countries around the world, most notably in Botswana, South Africa.

Shirley was a volunteer with many groups and it was a major part in her life. She was a missionary for the Mennonites in South Africa, a regular attender at the First Congregational United Church of Christ both in Wisconsin Rapids and here in Rhinelander where she sang in the choir, and a boat checker for the DNR at the Lake George boat landing, those being just a few examples.

Shirley cared about the environment, all human beings, and was also a lover of the outdoors, cross country skiing and snowshoeing into her 70s. She loved all animals no matter the size or kind, whether it was a mouse or a deer, she loved them all. But her real love was for her family and her church, and her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren always came first.

Shirley is survived by her daughter Carrie (John Radotich) Berg of Chisholm, Minn., sons William (Jean) Babcock and Curt (Leah) Babcock, both of Wisconsin Rapids; grandchildren Amy, Luke, Ryan, Crystal, Adam, David, Nick, Michael; nine great grandchildren, other family and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Todd Sheldon; grandson Jacob; and significant other of over 20 years Andy Benson.

A memorial service will take place at the Carlson Funeral Home with pastor Topher Mehlhoff officiating on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 at 11 a.m. with a visitation from 9:30 a.m. until just prior to the service.

You may leave your private condolences for the Babcock family at

The Carlson Funeral Home(715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for Shirley's family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2019
Article comment by: Michelle Fenske

I got to know Shirley very well while taking care of Andy in Hospice.
Shirley was a loving and caring person who I admired.
God Bless to all the Family and friends as I know Shirley will be truly missed.

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