Kathleen Babcock
Kathleen Babcock

Obituary of Kathleen Rose Babcock

Please share a memory of Kathleen to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.


Kathleen Rose Babcock passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home with her loving family after a long and valiant battle with cancer on Friday, September 16, 2022. In her 51 years, she touched and inspired children and adults to be their best selves and to help others to do the same.

Kathleen was born and raised in Denville, NJ, with her younger brother, James, to Nancy and the late Raymond Mohrle. She broke the mold when she was born and was an amazing daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. Kathleen is often described as kind, loving, caring, strong, resilient, compassionate, thoughtful, brave, playful, beautiful and wicked smart.

Kathleen was a perennial student of life and a continuous learner who enjoyed sharing with and learning from others. She graduated from Morris Knolls High School in Denville, NJ, earned a B.A. in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University, and then an M.A. in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University. It was at Tufts where her life changed forever when she met her eternal partner, Russell Edward Babcock. He believed that Kathleen was practically perfect in every way (like Mary Poppins) and the best thing that ever happened to him. He proposed marriage to her in Rome, Italy, on her birthday (May 17) at 5:17pm. They were married on September 2, 2001 and had a wonderful and romantic honeymoon in Greece. Together the happy couple lived in Devon, PA, before settling into their home in Rockaway Township, NJ, to live near Kathleen’s family and to raise a loving and happy family of their own.

Always hand in hand, Kathleen and Russell walked this journey through this magical mystery we call life as best friends. They loved traveling with their extended family and children Karina and Ryan, exploring new and diverse cultures, and enjoying local cuisines. Kathleen brought her kids on constant learning adventures throughout their lives. Her family often vacationed on Cape Cod, watched movies and live theater, attended county fairs and craft shows, visited museums, played sports, and traveled to different countries and states. Kathleen mostly loved spending time with her family and friends, gardening outdoors, and eating delicious, dark Belgian chocolate! 

Kathleen leaves only joyful memories to her beloved husband of 21 years, Russell; her adored children, Karina and Ryan; her treasured Mom, Nancy Mohrle; her loving brother and sister-in-law, James and Catherine Mohrle; her caring siblings-in-law, Chantel and Nathan Paul and many more extended family and dear friends. Although we are deeply saddened by her passing, we take comfort in the happy times spent with Kathleen that we will cherish forever.

Memorial Visitation will take place on Friday, September 23, from 3 – 6 pm at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville, NJ. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations in Kathleen’s memory to:

  • Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study & Human Development, Attn: Jayanthi Mistry, 105 College Avenue, Medford, MA 02155. Please make check payable to Trustees of Tufts College and write Child Study Department on the For line.

You can also send a gift directly to the department, although it will not be associated with Kathleen’s name, here: https://give.tufts.edu/campaigns/22193/donations/new?designation=EliotPearsonDepartmentofChildStudyandHumanDev&amt=.

There is no need to select a Designation as it is already selected for you.

Please select the Never Forgotten ecard with the elephant as that was Kathleen’s favorite animal.

Please leave a condolence, light a candle, and share your favorite memory of Kathleen to continue to celebrate the incredible life that she led with love and kindness. Thank you.