Arlene Marie Babbitt, age 82 of Vaughn Washington, passed away peacefully at home on April 12, 2023, surrounded by her loving children. She was born on May 3, 1940 in Tacoma WA to parents Donald and Violet Visell and lived in Gig Harbor WA, for 49 years. After completing her dream home in 2010, she then resided on Vaughn Bay for 13 years. Arlene was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Martin Frederick Babbitt. They fell in love while Arlene attended Tacoma General School of Nursing, married in 1961, and built a life and legacy together in Gig Harbor. She was also preceded in death by her brother, Gerald Visell. Arlene is survived by her four beloved children Laurie (Roy) Parkison , Douglas (Jennifer), Brian (Joanna), and Bonnie, 11 cherished grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, her dear sister Judy Bradshaw, her brother Joe Visell, her brother-in-law Dean Babbitt, and several beloved nieces and nephews.
Arlene was raised on beautiful Vaughn Bay, attended Vaughn Grade School, and Peninsula High School. After graduating in 1958, she studied at Tacoma General School of Nursing and became a registered nurse in 1961. She worked as an RN for more than 30 years, helping to deliver countless babies in the labor and delivery department. Arlene also taught childbirth classes for several years and often volunteered to help first time mothers with their babies. Her ability to nurture was very natural and intuitive. She was so gifted with the care of babies and little children that the family gave her the nickname, “the baby whisperer.” Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the delight of her heart, and the blessed recipients of her innate warmth, tenderness, and affection.
Arlene was a member of Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church for almost 60 years. Her love of the Lord and her Christian faith were always of importance to her, giving her comfort, strength, and purpose as she walked through the joys and challenges of life. She sang in the church choir, taught Sunday School, served as a deacon, and attended many Bible Studies. She also served on the health and visitation teams which ministered to the elderly. Arlene had a great love for people. With her cheerful and open heart, she always saw the best in them, always took time to listen with warmth and sincerity.
Arlene was a member of the Gig Harbor Welcome Club, and the “Soundsations” community choir. She had a great love of music and would often sing as she worked in the kitchen. Arlene also enjoyed gardening, flowers, baking (especially her Grandmother’s Swedish rye bread), dancing, tennis, and a good conversation over a cup of coffee. She was a gracious, welcoming host who loved to laugh, especially at herself. She also loved being out on the water, enjoying a slow boat ride around the bay to appreciate the homes dotted along the shore. She had an overall love of the outdoors, and upon stepping outside, she would often inhale deeply and exclaim, “Just smell that fresh air!” She was a blessing to all who knew and loved her, and she will be deeply missed. We take comfort in the fact that she is now smelling the fresh air of heaven with the Lord she loves.
The Babbitt family wishes to thank all the caregivers who dedicated countless hours of loving care to our mother.
All are invited to a memorial service for Arlene at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church at 7700 Skansie Avenue, Gig Harbor WA on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 2:30pm. Remembrances can be made in Arlene’s name to the Chapel Hill Memorial Fund.
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