Betty Jean Frederick Babin, 88, of Little Rock, Arkansas, passed away peacefully on December 29, 2021, from complications of heart disease and three strokes. A longtime resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a resident of Little Rock for 19 years. Betty was born on July 3, 1933, to Otto and Laura Frederick in Sulphur, Louisiana. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Donald Babin; daughter-in-law, Kimberly Massey Babin; infant grandson, Russell Joseph Babin; stepmother, Mary Corner Frederick; sisters, Enola Collins and Theola Frederick; brothers, Ervy Frederick, Everett Frederick and Lawrence Frederick, and stepsisters Elita LeRoy, Mabel LeDoux, Amy Daigle, Meyon Ledger, and all their spouses. Betty attended Louisiana School for the Deaf in Baton Rouge where she graduated as Salutatorian with her Class of 1951. She had a potential to attend Gallaudet College in Washington, DC, but with financial hardship and poor eyesight, she decided to stay in Baton Rouge. She worked as a book binder at Louisiana State University for a short time before working as a seamstress at Kean's Cleaners where she worked for five years before giving birth to her only child. She had been a homemaker for the rest of her life. She loved to try cooking new recipes for her family and friends. She was a bookworm and loved flower and vegetable gardening. She loved to travel and take cruises with her family and some friends. Betty was very involved in the Deaf and Deaf-Blind community where she had been a longtime member of Arkansas Deaf-Blind Community (ADBC) and Louisiana Acadiana Deaf-Blind Citizens (LADBC). She was also a member of American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB), Louisiana Association of the Deaf, Arkansas Association of the Deaf and a lifetime member of International Catholic Deaf Association. She was social director for some time at both ADBC and LADBC. Along with her son, Arthur, she was a key player starting and chairing the Deaf-Blind retreats in Arkansas for several years hosting participants from the region around Arkansas. She received several honors and awards, including ADBC Outstanding Deaf-Blind Member Award. Born with Usher Syndrome, a condition involving deafness and Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye disease that causes vision loss involving night blindness, loss of peripheral vision and poor balance, Betty never let this obstacle prevent her from living to a fulfillment of overcoming her disabilities. Gradually becoming blind, she learned how to use and read Braille which enabled her to continue being a bookworm by subscribing Braille library books and some Braille magazines. At her mid-80's, she learned how to use some new technology using Braille display devices paired with iPhone to keep her connected with the world. She continued cooking great meals, doing house chores, keeping up with her favorite gardening hobby until she was not able to. She was a charming Southern belle and loved to talk and share a lot of narrative stories. She was also an advocate and a great role model for the Deaf-Blind community. It is a joy to know that she is regaining her eyesight and gaining her hearing and also to see her loving mother who died when Betty was 13 years old and finally meeting her sister Theola who died at age of 8 before Betty was born. Betty is survived by her only child Arthur Babin who loved and cared for her all his life, Arthur's best friend Carel Dunaway, and "adopted" daughters Carolyn Jolley, Jami Hollingsworth, Stephanie Ott, Katelyn Wilson, Ashley Beaty, Meagan Beaty, Alecia Newport, and Sydney Morriss and a host of family members and friends. A visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m., Monday, January 3, 2022, at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition, a second visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. followed by a rosary beginning at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70816. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 7, 2022, at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home with a visitation prior to the service beginning at 9:00 a.m. The family requests that mask be worn during the visitations and funeral service and for anyone who wishes to purchase floral arrangements, please have them sent to Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home in Baton Rouge. Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal
Published by The Advocate from Jan. 3 to Jan. 7, 2022.