Barbara Louise Brandenburg Babcock was born in Ohio on June 5, 1927 to Benjamin Franklin Brandenburg and Matilda Frances (nee Meiring) Brandenburg. Her parents told her they found her on a stump – a story she believed for many years.
Barbara grew up in a bilingual environment, however only utilized the American English language during her life.
She was an accomplished pianist, but very few people would know this as she suffered from performance anxiety.
Upon graduating from Piqua Central High (Ohio), she immediately became employed at Jackson Tube (later becoming Armco Steel). She briefly attended University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.
She loved roller skating, and she met her future husband – Norman Kenneth Babcock, Jr. – at the roller rink. (He didn’t skate, but just came to see her.) She agreed to date him only if he would teach her how to drive the Jeep. They were married on March 14, 1945. (She learned to drive the Jeep.)
Upon moving to Florida in 1971, she subsequently became employed as a bookkeeper at Big John’s Grocery Store in Cape Coral, Florida.
She collected anything and everything with a strawberry on it and loved cats!
She and two of her cousins (Amelia “Sis” Harris and Pat Doss) became a well-known trio as they generously catered special harp events. They became known as the “Catering Cousins.”
After her husband died, she and her bestie Janice Magill paired up to become Santa (Jan) and the elf (Barb) visiting younger children in local schools. Barbara wanted to make a difference and chose to volunteer in her daughter Bambi’s classroom. (Incidentally, this was the first time she had ever ridden a school bus.) She soon became a member of the Foster Grandparent Program. She was very active with the children. She loved working in the classroom with her daughter, Bambi, and Tessa McDowell. She also enjoyed volunteering for Yolanda Figueroa. She absolutely loved the children and they loved her. One child drew a picture with hearts on it and said that it was to reminder her that Grandma Pickle’s love went with her wherever she goes.
Friends called her “Pickle,” but she was affectionately known as “Grandma Pickle” to the children.
She was one of the many strong and invincible people of the WWII generation and never hesitated to tell stories of her life to others. Her stories made history come to life.
On the morning of October 21, 2021, Barbara closed her eyes to this confused world and opened them to a perfect world called Heaven.
She is greatly missed, but always loved, by her daughter Bambi (Bob) Fischer and her granddaughter, Barbara Elizabeth Fischer.
If so inclined, in her memory, please be kind to cats, donate food to a cat shelter, pet a cat or adopt/rescue a cat.