Stephanie Ann Babb, 1951-2018
Born in Lubbock, Stephanie Ann (Cobb) Babb was raised by her parents John Littleton Cobb and Nelda Rae Cobb in a loving home alongside her brothers Gregory and Rodney. She grew up smart, kind and respectful, tolerating West Texas dust storms and Church of Christ classmates who told her she was hell-bound. In her classmates' defense, she would later spend 44 summers in Houston.
Stephanie was part of the 1970s' Lubbock out-migration. "Leaving Lubbock" was a touchstone for her and so many others that it became the basis for a well-known stage production. (Thank you Jaston Williams, Joe Ely and others.)
After graduating from Coronado High School, she headed east for college-east being San Antonio. At Trinity University, she majored in Environmental Studies. There she made wonderful friends, experienced the heartbreaking loss of a roommate and fell in love. One night in a dormitory hallway, Stephanie and boyfriend Paul Babb speculated about how weird their children would be. A year after college, they married. Paul taught her about hurricanes, crabbing and baseball.
Her genes and general practitioner father instilled a love of science and medicine. Soon after marriage she was back in school to become a respiratory therapist. For most of her career she worked at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, now part of Memorial Hermann. She loved her job at TIRR and became the hospital's director of respiratory therapy. She would later return to the hospital as a volunteer, then in 2017 as a patient.
In 1976, Stephanie and Paul bought a small bungalow home in the Heights. They loved their new neighborhood and their next-door neighbors, Stan and Annie Low. The couples raised their children together and shared many adventures. Annie, a woman so kind she once sent flowers to a distraught driver who had just rear-ended her car, became Stephanie's BFF.
In 1983, Stephanie gave birth to Peter. He brought joy, love and excitement to his parents. Stephanie was a wonderful mother to Peter. Even when he was a teenager, she never killed him. In June 2017, Peter married Regan Brown in a beautiful ceremony filled with love and joyful tears. Peter and Regan live in Austin with a small pack of dogs.
In 1992, Stephanie unleashed Bonnie Robin Babb on the world. Robin is a wonderful and passionate human being, loving daughter, gifted writer and eager outdoors-woman. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Animal companions were a constant source of joy (mostly) and amazement to Stephanie. Among them: Blackie, a brilliant, belching, one-eyed Border Collie; Chloe, a terrier mix too advanced for humanity; and Sparky, the loyal dog who stayed by Stephanie's side throughout every medical twist and turn, except to break for Greenies™ dental dog treats.
Music was a big part of Stephanie's life. She and Paul loved going to the Mucky Duck pub, the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Americana Music Festival. For a while, Stephanie sang in the Zion Lutheran choir and the Bayou City Women's Chorus, but sadly she never achieved her goal of being a backup singer with The Talking Heads.
Cycling, tennis and reading were other passions. She and Paul formed a Sunday morning bike gang. Stephanie played in a tennis league. Her book club fueled her love of reading, and her mahjong game was a weekly joy. Of course, all these activities were excuses to meet people and build friendships. When Stephanie became ill, these friends were by her side.
Also by her side were Janice, Salome and Ruth-a.k.a. the coffee ladies. Stephanie's family will love you forever. Neighbors and friends Suzy, Sharon, Cynthia, Connie, Linda and others brought lightness and comfort to Stephanie.
Stephanie was a loving and lovable person. She didn't ask much of her family, but when she put her foot down, she meant it. She insisted that Peter pursue his interest in theater and audition for HSPVA. She insisted the family welcome exchange students into the home. In January 2017, she made it clear to daughter Robin that they would attend the Women's March on Washington.
Stephanie was a committed volunteer to numerous organizations, including 14 Pews, Bike Houston, Harvard Elementary, the TIRR Auxiliary Board and the Houston Heights Association Education Committee.
She is preceded in death by her parents and older brother Gregory.
Missing Stephanie forever are her husband Paul, children Peter and Robin, and brother Rodney Cobb and his wife, Katrina. Numerous Cobb cousins, spread far and wide, also mourn her passing.
Stephanie is survived by the wind across Texas, the music of Buddy Holly and the power of love.
September 15, 2018 2:00pm, The Heights Villa
September 16, 2018 8:00am, Market Square
September 16, 2018 5:00pm, 14 Pews