CASPER – Charlotte Mary Babcock passed away peacefully at home on December 30, 2021. She was 92 years young. She was born in Casper on September 9, 1929 to Leon and Blanche (Woolever) Bennett. She attended McKinley grade school; graduated from Natrona County High School in 1947; attended college from 1947-48 at Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois; then graduated from Casper College in 1949, with an AA in liberal arts, and a lifetime award for excellence in Journalism. She obtained her teaching certificate through Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska.
She met her husband of 52 years, Robert Babcock, on a double date with a girlfriend, (whose date was Robert). On May 18, 1949, she and Robert eloped to Billings, Montana. They had two daughters, Vickie and Linda.
She began substitute teaching for the Natrona County School District, first at Willard, then for 25 years subbing almost entirely at Pineview Elementary. She was always the first one they called, and she worked every single school day.
An accomplished musician on the piano (taught to her by her mother, a concert pianist), Charlotte became the music director of the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church choir from 1965-1978. As a founding member of the church, and with its 25th anniversary of the church approaching, she chronicled its history, publishing “The St. Patrick’s Story” in 1987.
In 1970, Robert purchased the flower shop in Hilltop Shopping Center. Charlotte’s short lived but very active new career in the flower business began. Renamed “Charlotte’s Flowers” she became a district representative for three years in Teleflora, a floral wire service, attending national conventions in San Francisco and Hawaii.
An outstanding and prolific writer, she was a longtime member of WyoPoets and a past president of Wyoming Writers, Inc. In 1983 she received that organization’s prestigious Emmie Mygatt award, and in 2001 the Milestone award, for her outstanding contributions. A member for nearly 35 years, she attended each organization’s yearly conference in locations all around Wyoming.
In 2001 she was recognized by the City of Casper and the American Association of University Women as a renowned author, freelance writer and editor. She has been published in numerous anthologies including “Woven on the Wind,” “Crazy Woman Creek” and “Wyoming Writing.” She was a founding member of the literary advisory committee at Casper College, and at the time of her death, was still writing a column, “According to Charlotte,” for “Footprints,” the college’s alumni magazine. “Shot Down: Capital Crimes of Casper” was published in 2000. In 2016, she self-published “The Meadowlark’s Song… and more.” Both were recognized by the Wyoming State Historical Society as award winning publications.
She had a storied twenty-six year relationship with Casper College which began in 1950 as a board member of the alumni association. The current board was formed in 1989, and she became a member the next year, serving as president from 1994-1996. For the college’s 50th anniversary, she headed the commissioning of the bronze sculpture “Spirit of the Thunderbird,” by alumnus Chris Navarro, prominently placed on the northeast side of the campus. In 2019, she was named the Alumni Association’s Commitment to Excellence recipient, an award given for having made a significant difference in the growth and development of Casper College. In 2004, she established the Babcock Memorial Scholarship Fund for non-traditional students.
Charlotte was a volunteer and past president of many community organizations including the American Legion Auxiliary, PTA’s at Willard Elementary and East Junior High, Friends of the Library, Bishop’s Guild of Casper, and the Nicolaysen Art Museum. She judged spelling bees and writing contests, wrote articles for and letters to the Casper newspaper, gave many presentations, book signings, and readings; continued taking classes at Casper College. She was instrumental in saving the Hotel Townsend ghost sign when the building was remodeled as the Townsend Center. As a result, she was asked to do research for three large panels that are hung in the foyer featuring Casper’s history.
She loved entertaining, and hosted seasonal parties for the staff at Pineview and the St. Patrick’s choir. Much anticipated fare were her famous hot ham and cheese rolls and Tom and Jerrys. She made a genuine Waldorf salad, and fudge that everyone wanted the recipe for. She loved going to the Wyoming Cowboy football games long before tailgating became a thing, and watched with enthusiasm Josh Allen’s rise as a successful professional quarterback. She had a huge smile and laugh, and loved all events social or otherwise. She often ran into her former students and they would tell her she was their favorite teacher. She was an unapologetic, staunch democrat, and spent many years as a poll worker. She was a force and achieved most of the goals she set for the organizations she was involved with. After Robert’s retirement they enjoyed traveling abroad and around the country for his annual reunions of the Coast Guard ship he was on during World War II. She made many dear friends who loved her bubbly personality and she earned much respect for her ability to say what she thought needed to be done and got it done. She challenged the status quo unequivocally and disliked change for change’s sake.
Charlotte is survived by her two daughters: Vickie Quisenberry and Linda Coatney; four grandchildren: Roxanne, Michael, Russ, and Miles, and their spouses; eleven great-grandchildren; two nephews, Bob and John in California; relatives in New York; and special friend, Steve Nicholas, who she thought of as a son.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert in 2003, her parents, aunts, uncles, and a son-in-law, Rick.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Hospice for their gentle home care, and to all of Charlotte’s friends who have expressed their sympathy.
If you would like to do something in her honor, please make a donation to the Babcock Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of the Casper College Alumni Association.
At this time, no services will be held; a memorial service is planned for later this year.
Published by Casper Star-Tribune on Jan. 9, 2022.