RUTH BABCOCK FREEPORT - Ruth Babcock passed from this life into the joys of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 7:30 a.m., Monday Dec. 2, 2013. She was born to Earl and Mina (Short) Hewgill on the family farm near Clarksburg, Ontario, Canada. She was born again into the family of God at 7 years of age and by high school she was leading an after school Bible class for children at their church in Thornbury, Ontario. After high school she attended Normal Teaching College in Toronto, and taught country elementary schools for three years before enrolling at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, N.Y. From there she graduated 1957, with a B.S. in Nursing Arts and shortly after graduation married Lyle Babcock. She worked in nursing at Rockford Memorial Hospital. The Babcocks served churches in Rockford, IL and Davenport, IA before moving to Freeport in 1959. Here Ruth oversaw the new born nursery at Freeport Memorial Hospital. As children were born and Lyle took on Richland Free Methodist, near Red Oak and Grace Free Methodist Church, McConnell, in addition the Freeport First Free Methodist. Ruth raised the children at home while Lyle taught school in addition to pastoring the three churches. She ran the church office in the home, and drove vans to transport children and youth to ministries of the three churches. At Richland FMC, she led worship, taught Sunday School and took on other leadership roles for over 30 years of the 51 years Lyle served the church. For the last 21 years she suffered from Alzheimer's. Her husband was primary caregiver with help from several others. Ruth showed the love and patience of Christ consistently until her homegoing. She attended church regularly until the last two weeks of her life. Many will miss her greatly but Lyle will miss her most after 56 years of marriage to this saint of God. Ruth is survived by her husband, Rev. Lyle Babcock; two sons, Raymond (Pam) of Sawyer, MI and Dean (Stephanie) of Malawi, Africa; daughter, Ruth of Farmington, NM; grandchildren, Joshua, Ericka, Andrea, Timothy, Cheyenne, Christopher, Jonathan, Sarah, and one expected in April; one great- granddaughter, Jonnicka; sisters, Grace (Tom) Walton and Alice (Floyd) Hicks of Ontario; brother, Ray (Kathy) Hewgill of Ontario; sister-in-law, Mariam Hewgill of Ontario. Ruth is predeceased by brothers, Murray and Frank Hewgill and one grandson, Andrew Babcock. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at First Free Methodist Church. Visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at Burke-Tubbs, and for 1 hour before service at the church. A memorial has been established for Monroe Clinic Hospice and Richland Free Methodist Church in her memory. To sign her online guestbook and to share memories, please visit burketubbs.com.
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Published in The Journal-Standard from Dec. 4 to Dec. 5, 2013