Beverly Jane Babbitt Schau
Memorial service celebrating the life of Beverly Jane Babbitt Schau, 71, Lawton, will be at 11 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Katherine Dutcher officiating.
A private burial was held at Highland Cemetery under direction of Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.
Jane, born Sept. 16, 1942, in Lawton, died Monday, March 17, 2014, at her home in Lawton.
Jane loved the time spent with her maternal grandparents: Roy and Kay Lewis, in New Mexico, where, during the Great Depression, her grandfather managed the historic Phillips Ranch near Cimarron, N.M. Jane's parents: Gwendolyn Lewis and Howard Criswell Babbitt were married there. When it eventually became the well-known Boy Scout camp, the Philmont Scout Ranch, Mr. Lewis returned to Raton and served as president of La Mesa Park, the first horse racing track in New Mexico. Her paternal grandfather, Ray H. Babbitt, came to Lawton in 1907 and founded the Home Savings and Loan. With a smile and twinkle in her eye, Jane often reminisced about her family, her mischievous childhood in Lawton, and times spent at grandmother Goldie Babbitt's home. Jane graduated from Lawton High School in 1960, and with effective coercion from her father Howard, earned a Vocational Home Economics degree from Oklahoma University in 1964. She married U.S. Air Force Lt. George Schau in 1963. While stationed at various places throughout the USA, she taught at Central Junior High in Lawton; Valdosta, Ga.; Panama City, Fla.; and Biloxi, Miss. They settled in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Jane began her 22-year career as an executive for the Girl Scouts of America. Retiring in 1993, she returned to the Babbitt family home in Lawton and became actively involved in her hometown community. Her professional experience with non-profits was a valuable resource for local groups such as the Lawton Heritage Association, where she served on the board for 17 years. While a board member for Roadback, she developed and taught a "Life Skills" course for young men. Her empathy and compassion was evident in her mentoring of many. She was a volunteer for Wichita Mountains Prevention Network, Friends of the Wichitas, The Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, Old Town North Neighborhood Association, and the Boulevard of Lights. Her busy social calendar was filled with Delta Delta Delta Sorority Alumni Group, Potpourri Group of the Comanche County HCE, Chapter FW P.E.O Sisterhood, Shakespeare Club, Salvation Army Women's Auxilliary, Quest Club, the Ladies of the Letter, and her Wacky Women friends. Jane loved gourmet cooking and proper entertaining. She enjoyed gardening and became a Master Gardener through the OSU Extension Service. She was passionate about traveling, reading, the arts, celebrating birthdays, laughing with friends, Diet Dr. Pepper and chocolate. She never missed an opportunity to show her gratitude with a heartfelt handwritten thank you note. She gave love and received it. Her boundless energy, generosity, kindness and gentle spirit will be missed by her family and the huge network of friends she developed over a lifetime of many colorful experiences. Her laugh and her love of life will be forever etched in the hearts of all who knew her. Jane had many loving friends who were always there for her. She was given loving support by home health caregivers: Ragan Rollins and Christy Morrissette, and found comfort in their common-sense advice.
Jane is survived by her sister, Barbara Jill Babbitt Martin, Keller Texas; brother Jerry Ray Babbitt, Lawton; nieces: Jennifer Martin Burdett, Dallas; Beth Martin Francey, San Antonio; Susan Babbitt Bergen, Keller; and Micha Babbitt Laird, Wheaton, Ill.; nephews: Terry Babbitt, Albuquerque, N.M.; Dale Babbitt, Victoria, Texas; and Grant Babbitt, San Francisco; great-nieces and nephews whom she considered her grandkids: Abby, Ally, Hannah and Andrew Laird, Wheaton, Ill. Jane delighted in making Easter and Christmas special for them.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Jack Lewis Babbitt; and parents and grandparents.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lawton Heritage Association Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 311, Lawton 73502.
An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at www.beckerfuneral.com.