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Marlene Janet Babb



Marlene Janet Babb, age 83, passed away peacefully on March 30th, 2022. Marlene lived a life full of books, music, and sass. She graduated from Detroit Eastern High School in 1956. Marlene received her Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science from Wayne State University and her Master’s of Library Science Degree from the Geneseo campus of the State University of New York. Marlene worked for the Detroit Public Schools as a school librarian for 37 years, finishing her career at Pershing High School. She often reflected upon her tenure on the book selection committee for the Detroit Schools as a capstone to her career. Marlene always had a book nearby, whatever she was up to. She also had a passion for singing and was a 30+ year member of the Shoreline MI, Chapter of The Sweet Adelines of America. With the Shoreline Sound Chorus, she performed in Michigan, all over the United States and in International Competitions. She served in many leadership positions in the chorus and made many wonderful, long standing friendships. Marlene loved to travel and visited many locations around the world. As an animal lover, Marlene had many furry companions through the years, most recently her calico, Callie, and Chloe, the smartest Golden Retriever in the world, who provided wonderful company for Marlene in her later years. Marlene raised three daughters, always reminding them of the importance of books, music and education. Marlene was an avid lover of the outdoors and was the Girl Scout leader for her daughters. She also spent many summers camping with family, her dear friend Linda and the Sweet Adelines throughout Michigan. She was preceded in death by her daughter Kathryn Grimes, her brother Fred, her parents, Al and Daisy Miller, former husband George Grimes and former husband Hank Babb. She is survived by her daughters, Beth (Jeff) Thompson, Laurel (Jim) Horman and son-in-law Bob Breck; Grandchildren Ben (Lindsey) Thompson, Olivia Thompson (fiancée Joey Johnson) Alexandra Horman, Cole Horman and Delia Grimes; her sister Ann (Paul) LaBara, brothers Alex (Ricki) Miller and David (Phyllis) Miller and sister-in-law Sue Miller. Marlene was close to her many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held in the Meeting House at Porter Hills Village, 3600 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (West Entrance) at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9th, visitation from 1-2,  with a meal to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Emmanuel Hospice 

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7 Responses

  1. I am so sorry to hear of Marlene’s death, she was such a kind, fun loving sassy lady. I have missed her for some time now and have really missed working the Renaissance Festival with her.
    Peace and love and hugs to the entire family; she was always so proud of all of you!

  2. I too loved Marlene. She was a neighbor in the ne Harper Woods community. As a ‘baritone’ in the chorus, we had started an intimae group of new ladies in the chorus, and chose different houses to gather- “fire-side” chats. One on one about the functions within the chorus. Always looking for someone to be a leader in any way possible. Singing, mentoring, management. She was so good in to delving in the person, finding their strengths. I am sad she has left this world, but so happy that I was so close to her. Rest in peace Marlene. Love you,

  3. Marlene was a dear friend in our East Pointe and then Shoreline Sound Chorus. She was one of the first people I met upon joining Sweet Adelines, and her welcome was warm and genuine. Our friendship extended further into camping times together where much singing, joyfulness and wonderful times were shared. I miss her intelligence, sincerity and kindness. Ernie and I will always love her; she was the best.

  4. Ms. Babb was such a special person in my life.She was always there for me when I needed someone to talk too. She always had a smile on her face and the most beautiful smileI have ever seen in my life. She was pure in her heart and believed everyone had good intentions. She protected the people she loved with all her power including me. When ever I got in trouble at school she would be the one to come and bail me out and teach me a lesson at the same time. She always had great advise and I always had a shoulder to cry on when I had issues at home. I respected her more then anyone else in my life because she treated me kind and with love. Her hugs were the best. She might have went to hug school or something because every time she hugged me I felt so much better and my spirits were lifted again. I’m sure I will never meet another person like her in my lifetime. She really was one of a kind person.
    A true diamond in my life.
    Ms. Babb you know I love you and you will always and forever be in my heart, soul and thoughts.

  5. I am so sorry to hear this. As Linda’s niece, we were fortunate to spend many summers and holidays with Marlene. She always treated us part of her extended family and we loved her dearly. She was always gracious and kind. A true Lady.
    We will be thinking of you all and sending love and prayers from SC.

  6. Marlene and Linda Liddicoatt took me under their wings upon my introduction and new membership to Sweet Adelines and our East Pointe Chorus 29 years ago. Marlene’s love of music, good reading, great wines, fine dining, and camping rubbed off on Ernie and I, and our friendship blossomed and carried on all those years. We shared many wonderful times together, and I shall treasure having had her in my life. She was a bright light in our world; we are so fortunate to have known and loved her.

  7. It took me a week to come to terms with her passing enough to write this. Then I thought, if I’m sadden by this, think what her family must be going through. I met Ms. Marlene more than three and a half years ago. I was her home care provider. She was a bullet. It was me trying to keep up with her. I went from coming once every other Thursday, to three more times a week. We did a lot of things together. She said I made her dizzy running around doing my work. She would say, “sit down, you’ve done enough.” I would be folding clothes as Callie sat on her window perch and Ms. Marlene would be in her comfy chair going through a mountain of mail, yeah it seemed that much. I will miss her smile the most. She was very kind to me. It’s no wonder I would also be attached to her wonderful family, the apple(s) really don’t fall far from the tree. On Mondays when I came in, even at Porter Hills Rehab, when she was alert, she would say, “I missed you,” and I would reply, awww, I missed you too. She felt loved and was loved, I started missing her from the moment I heard. May God’s Spirit be with this loving family.

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