Babette Ann Kaiser

May 25, 1958 - April 3, 2013
Babette Ann Kaiser, beloved sister, wife and friend, passed away on April 3, 2013 after a long and valiant struggle with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis. Babette was born in Los Angeles to Althea and William Kaiser on May 25, 1958 and grew up in Lawndale and the South Bay. She was a bright and well rounded girl, who loved to read and loved to spend time at the beach. After high school she spent many years working at Western Airlines before returning to school to get her BS in Finance at USC. She went on to earn an MBA at UCLA. Subsequently she worked in finance at Allied Signal before moving down to San Diego in 1994. Tragically she became permanently disabled due to MS in 1996 and was unable to work since then. She spent the last 16 years of her life making the best of her increasing disabilities. But the essence of Babette's life is not found in these simple statistics. Those of us who knew and loved Babette remember her as she was before MS stole so much from her - a kind, clever, adventurous and beautiful woman who cared deeply for her family, friends, and loved ones. She laughed easily and often, and made others laugh as well. She was an excellent skier, water skier, and all-around athlete. She loved many things: the beach, Led Zeppelin, USC football, the mountains of Wrightwood, traveling, reading, movies, learning new things, contributing to environmental causes, and spending time with those she loved. But most of all she was someone who made you happy to be around her, someone who made you feel that your own life was better for having known her. Those of us who are counted among her family and friends will miss her dearly and will cherish her memory. Babette is survived by her husband of 20 years, Marc Ilgen, her brothers Bill Kaiser and Frank Kaiser, her sister Karee Hada, her dear longtime friend Richard Smith, and many members of an extended family.
A memorial service has been scheduled for May 12, and her ashes will be scattered at sea off the coast of the South Bay beaches she loved so much.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 28, 2013