April 17, 1930 - September 10, 2016
San Antonio, Texas | Age 86
A lifelong, Texas farm girl, who became a registered nurse in 1950, Mildred L. Naegelin Babcock cherished her time helping others, serving God, and enjoying the rural life. While growing up, she learned life lessons about the arduous nature of farm life, the rewards of working hard, and the value of a dollar. She had her work boots and good shoes and ensured never to mix the two when milking the cows, feeding the chickens, mucking the hog's pen, or going to school. She was a true Texas' Yellow Rose, in spirit and endeavors, as she was born on April 17, 1930 in San Antonio. Taking an interest in helping people via the nursing profession, she graduated valedictorian in the first certification nursing class at Baptist Memorial Hospital. While in nursing school and on the Riverwalk, she met her soulmate in the form of a young, gregarious airman, attending basic training at Lackland AFB. After getting married to Dexter B. Babcock, Jr. on December 9, 1950, she began a not for the faint-of heart emprise, traveling all over the continental United States. Ultimately raising four children, while working nights at hospitals in the the various cities where the family was stationed. Many times the family transferred unaccompanied, from one USAF base, to the next, in less approximately eighteen months with "Mom as the commanding officer." Mildred was one of the pioneers that helped define the term "Super Mom", i.e. the single mother who acted as mother, father, disciplinarian, nurturer, cook, etc. while her husband was working unaccompanied locations around the globe. As Dexter's twenty-three year military career drew to a close, both knew Texas beckoned them to return. Thus in 1971, they moved back to the home of the Alamo to start their next familial adventure. They built a barn style house on inherited land in northwest San Antonio. Mildred worked nights at Bexar County Hospital (now University Hospital) working in her preferred medical training environment. Additionally, she was able to devote her spiritual energy to her church, Grace Lutheran, in downtown San Antonio and was involved in many facets of her congregation. She quietly exhibited her pious faith by always "walking the talk" and setting the example for fellow parishioners, but always in her typically understated and modest way. Her unpretentious nature was to work behind the scenes vice taking center stage.
At work, Mildred was a no-nonsense but respected registered nurse, who always put patient care first, setting a high bar for fellow nurses to follow. She never hesitated to challenge hospital staff, including doctors, when she felt they were foundering in their treatment or support of a patient. Her last ten years were spent in University Hospital's Head Trauma Ward, she consciously kept her work separate from the family, to shield her children from the stressful experiences in her daily, hospital life. She always believed in helping others and often sought out services and goods from small stores or shops that were struggling to become a successful business. She did have her idiosyncrasies with many being mirthful in nature. About 15 years ago, she concluded that switching from her preferred real to a fake Christmas tree was not sacrosanct. She realized that an artificial tree would enable her to celebrate that important Christian holiday, year round, but allowed her to track the various international travels and escapades of her children. They always bought her unique ornaments, thus making the tree a "living scrapbook" and a conversation starter for any visitor. After retiring from nursing, she loved spending her time with her fellow Lutherans and enjoying the animals on her ranchette. On the afternoon of September 10th, she passed away quietly and peacefully, surrounded by family members.
Mildred was preceded in death by her parents, Frank J. and Dorothea M. Naegelin; her older sister E. Ruby Naegelin Kneupper; her beloved husband, Dexter B. Babcock, Jr. and her seraphic son, Jeffery A. Babcock, Esq. Survivors include her younger sister, Dorothy R. Naegelin Reed Joy; children: Christine L. Babcock, Robert A. Babcock and Dr. Jo Beth Oestreich and spouse David C. Oestreich; grandchildren: Bradley and Jennifer Ross; Robert and Andrew Oestreich; Arthur Babcock; and great grandchildren: Connor, Riley and B. Timothy Ross
A graveside service will be held at 11:00am on September 20th at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, where she will be laid to rest with her Dexter. A reception will be held after the service at the Omni Colonnade Hotel. In lieu of flowers, any desired donations can be sent to the Dexter B. and Mildred L. Babcock, Jr. Scholarship Fund, Texas Lutheran University, 1000 W. Court St., Seguin, Texas, 78155; Judicial Watch, Inc. ATTN: Director of Development, 425 Third St. Washington, D.C. 20024, or the American Heart Association, 7272 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75231.