Marian Estelle Irle thumbnail

Marian Estelle Babbs

March 11, 1939 -
April 25, 2020

Marian Estelle Irle (“Mimi”) Babbs of Champaign and Hilton Head, South Carolina, passed away peacefully with family at her side, on Saturday, April 25th, in Champaign.

Born March 11th, 1939 in Champaign, she was the daughter of Walter Lawrence and Lauretta McCracken Irle.  She married Howa…read more

Marian Estelle Irle (“Mimi”) Babbs of Champaign and Hilton Head, South Carolina, passed away peacefully with family at her side, on Saturday, April 25th, in Champaign.

Born March 11th, 1939 in Champaign, she was the daughter of Walter Lawrence and Lauretta McCracken Irle.  She married Howard Francis Babbs on August 31st, 1957 in Urbana.

She is survived by daughter Lesli Lynn Babbs (Larry) of Chicago, beloved grandchildren Madison Brooke and Jackson Taylor Babbs of Shoreview, MN, sister Judith Irle Thompson (Michael) of Champaign, nephews Hale of Chicago, Jonathan (Christina) their children Sylvie and Wilder of Manistee, MI, and Michael (Nali) of Birmingham, AL.

She was preceded in death by her son Gordon Matthew Cameron Babbs, her parents, dear aunts, uncles, cousins, and lifelong friends Mimi Edwards and Isabel O’Neill.

She attended Leal Elementary School (where she forged beloved friendships, her “GEMS”), Urbana High School, and the University of Illinois, majoring in special and music education.

Marian was a wife, homemaker, and mother, and upon raising her children, became very active in the Champaign-Urbana real estate community both as an agent and investor.  She was also co-owner of one of the first boutiques and design showrooms in downtown Urbana, “Potpourri”, with Judith Thompson and Mimi Edwards.  She also managed and oversaw a number of family business interests.

She was an avid supporter of both her children’s various activities and athletics, as well as that of her nephews.  Later in life, her greatest joy was attending her grandchildren’s athletic events and music recitals while visiting them in Minnesota.

Marian was a woman of deep faith and active through the years at First Presbyterian Church of Champaign, where she served in numerous leadership and volunteer roles. She was also active in various bible study groups throughout her lifetime.

Marian was gracious, quick-witted, courageous, clever, tenacious, always inquisitive, and the first to lend a hand or empathic ear to all that knew her.  She lived and exemplified the ministry of helping others.

She believed in her community, and dearly loved her birthplace of Champaign-Urbana, having spent almost the entirety of her lifetime here, as her ancestors were some of the founding citizens of Champaign County.  She was active throughout her lifetime and held leadership roles in virtually all organizations in which she was a member including: First Presbyterian Church, Champaign-Urbana Junior League, Daughters of the American Revolution, Book Club of Champaign-Urbana, Krannert Council, University of Illinois Foundation President’s Council, The Art Club of Champaign, and Young Republicans.  She also served as delegate for U.S. Presidential Candidate, the late honorable Senator Richard Lugar.

Marian was also an active volunteer throughout her lifetime serving: Empty Tomb, Board Member and longtime President of Target Home for Troubled Youth, Krannert Art Museum Docent, Courage Connection, Habitat for Humanity, Women in Transition and The Threshold.

She was a generous and gracious hostess who practiced the art of entertaining beautifully.  Her cooking acumen and recipes shared were highly coveted.  She especially enjoyed spending winters in Hilton Head with dear friends.  She was also an avid gardener and had a true passion for decorative arts.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations in Marian’s memory may be given to First Presbyterian Church, 302 West Church Street, Champaign, IL 61820.

Morgan Memorial Home in Savoy, IL is handling arrangements with services pending.

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