Cover photo for Phyllis Babb's Obituary
Phyllis Babb Profile Photo

Phyllis Babb

January 21, 1944 — February 29, 2024

Wilson

Phyllis Babb

Phyllis Loadholt Babb, 80, of Wilson, beloved mother, grandmother, and friend, died on February 29, 2024, in the Hospice House at Transitions LifeCare in Raleigh. Phyllis will be remembered fondly for her dedication to her loving family and her unwavering commitment to service in her community and at various charitable organizations throughout Wilson County and North Carolina. Those who knew her best will recall how she loved to laugh; indeed, she had a keen intellect and lively sense of humor.

Phyllis was born in Fairfax, South Carolina.  Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16, she managed her disease beautifully and was a model patient to every endocrinologist who treated her.  She was an outstanding student and graduated first in her class and summa cum laude from Columbia College in 1965.  She received her master’s degree from Clemson University in 1967 where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi.

She moved to North Carolina and was an English teacher in Durham and Wilson County Public Schools and at Wilson Technical Community College from 1967-1971.  Many of her former students would approach her in public places and hug and kiss her, and tell her she was their favorite teacher, even years after she retired from teaching.

At the time her eldest child was born in 1973, Phyllis turned her focus to motherhood and public service.  She was a champion of the American Heart Association, serving continuously at the local, state and/or Mid-Atlantic level.  She was President of the Heart Association twice and once when the chapter won Heart Association of the Year for the entire state.  She served on countless committees and in many capacities at Heart and faithfully raised money for its annual campaign.  She was the recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Lifetime Achievement Award, the Affiliate’s highest volunteer honor in 1997-98.

Phyllis was President of the Wilson County Diabetes Association in 1978-79 and served on the Board of Eastern North Carolina Diabetes Association in 2003.  She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Wilson and was recognized as a Deacon and Elder.  She volunteered tirelessly at her children’s schools and at Meals on Wheels.  Phyllis was named one of five Outstanding Young Women of Wilson County and North Carolina in 1980, and received the Wilson Technical Community College Annual Trustee Award for Excellence in Service in  1990.  She served on numerous boards and committees at Wilson Tech through the 2000’s.

Phyllis enjoyed spending time with her family, travelling around the world, conversations with dear friends, and voraciously reading books and newspapers.  Most recently she reveled in the quiet tranquility of her back deck where she would relax, visit with guests, or read.  Despite her South Carolina roots, Phyllis was unquestionably a “Tar Heel.”  She would not answer the phone whenever the Heels played on television and was known to track points, rebounds and assists with a pencil and pad during basketball season.  She attended hundreds of UNC football and basketball games, in Chapel Hill and all over the country, and was as dedicated a fan as one will ever know.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents, William Russell Loadholt and Geraldine Folk Sanders, her stepfather, Cleo Herman Sanders, as well as her husband of more than 50 years, Henry Curtis Babb, Jr.

She is survived by her son, Russell David Babb, of Raleigh, his wife, Julie Johnson Babb, and their two children Charles Russell (13) and Georgia Lucille Babb (8).  She is also survived by her daughter, Ashley Babb Falls, of Raleigh, her husband, Jeremy Wayne Falls, and their two children, Agatha Ryland (5) and Henry Sebastian Falls (3). 

Phyllis lived a full life and was a wonderful example and role model to her children, grandchildren, extended family and many friends. She carried herself with dignity and grace even as her health declined.  She put others before herself always.  Her generosity was unparalleled, and she was adored by all four of her grandchildren, who will always call her their “Lillis.”   She will continue to endure in love in the hearts of all who knew her.  She was an inspiration to us all.

A memorial service celebrating Phyllis’ life will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at 11:00AM at First Presbyterian Church in Wilson. Guests are invited to visit with family at the church immediately following the service. 

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in honor of Phyllis to the American Heart Association c/o Adele Gray, 2400 Buford Drive, Apartment 412, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043.

Arrangements by Wilson Memorial Service, 2811 Fieldstream Dr N, Wilson, NC 27896, www.wilsonmemorialservice.com, 252-237-7171.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Babb, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

11:00 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church

414 Sunset Rd NW, Wilson, NC 27893

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Visitation

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Starts at 11:45 am (Eastern time)

First Presbyterian Church

414 Sunset Rd NW, Wilson, NC 27893

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