Rhoda Mae Babbel

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Rhoda Mae Babbel (Welker)

Birthdate: (91)
Birthplace: Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
Death: June 18, 2007 (91)
Twin Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA
Place of Burial: Twin Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Roy Anson Welker and Elizabeth Welker
Wife of Roy Erwin Babbel
Mother of <private> Babbel; David Welker Babbel; <private> Croft (Babbel); <private> Ivins (Babbel); <private> Babbel and 4 others
Sister of Gareth Welker; Roi Hoge Welker; Elizabeth Maurine Horn; Ella Welker Moyle; Ruth Pugmire and 3 others

Occupation: Married Roy E. Babbel March 22, 1939, in the Salt Lake City Temple. They had nine children.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rhoda Mae Babbel

TWIN FALLS - Rhoda Mae Welker Babbel left this earth to join her heavenly family on Monday, June 18, 2007, at the age of 91. She hoped to stop by Mt. Everest on her way because she loved to travel. She was born in Paris, Idaho, on March 26, 1916, to Roy A. Welker and Elizabeth Hoge and was one of nine children. She married Roy E. Babbel on March 22, 1939, in the Salt Lake City Temple. They resided in Twin Falls, where they lived together for 66 wonderful years. They are the parents of nine children. Rhoda was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all of her life and served three missions to Germany and Switzerland with her husband, Roy.

She is survived by her children, Gary (Ann) Babbel of Twin Falls, Candy (Brian) Croft of Midway, Utah, Kay (Jim) Ivins of Bountiful, Utah, Fred (Soni) of American Fork, Utah, Connie (Lee) Brundage of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Bob (Michelle) of Corvallis, Oregon, Mary Ann (Darrell) Back of Sandy, Utah, and Mike (Loretta) of Peoria, Arizona; sisters, Margaret Kazmierski and Joyce Hafen; 46 grandchildren; and 39 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy; her son, David; two grandsons; one great-granddaughter; two brothers and four sisters.

She was famous for her pies, for great dinners, and for her hospitality. Mom had a genuine interest in people, in learning, and in the world around her. She was a voracious reader. Her service to others and her ability to make everyone feel important will be her lasting legacy. To know her was to love her.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23, at the Kimberly LDS Stake Center, 3857 N. 3500 E. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at White Mortuary, "Chapel by the Park," and from 12:45 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Park. The family suggests memorials to the LDS Humanitarian Fund.


The following history and reminiscences of Rhoda Mae Welker Babbel are from several sources. They were found on Family Search.org. Part of this was transcribed from a talk she gave during her first mission to the Swiss Temple in 1985 when she was 69 years old. Also included are notes transcribed from an interview with her son, Mike, and his wife, Loretta, in Twin Falls when she was in her late 80's. Also included are notes taken while she was staying with her daughter, Kay Ivins, in Bountiful in 2996, as well as miscellaneous papers and letters from her own records and her collection of family memories and pictures. Also included are memories of her by her family. Compiled in 2012.

Reminiscences of Rhoda Mae Welker Babbel: In reviewing things that happened in my life, I've come to the conclusion that it isn't so much where I lived, or what I did, as much as it was the people I met and knew who influenced my life. they were the ones who taught me various things that I have tried to incorporate into my life, which I haven't done as good a job at as I should have), but I would like to mention quite a few of those people who have influenced me. I would hope that you would get to know me through them.

I have pioneer ancestry. My grandmother Hoge (Amelia Ann Smith Hoge, born 1850), came on a ship across the ocean in the middle of the winter. Grandma Hoge had been an apprentice in a wealthy house as one of the cooks in England. Her family left England for America and then they walked across the plains when my Grandma was around 16. While they were on the ship headed to America, a big storm came up. Grandma's mother was down in the hull as sick as could be and she had a small baby. My grandma would go up on the deck and walk around with the baby and her other siblings. She was up on the deck during the storm and couldn't see anything because of a heavy fog. The captain couldn't see where he was going. She was there to witness a miracle. All of a sudden the fog rolled up like a curtain and there, right in front of them, was a big iceberg. The captain grabbed the wheel and called everybody and they were able to turn the ship around. The side of the ship got scraped up by the iceberg. If the fog hadn't pulled up, they would have never seen it, and they would have crashed into it and all been drowned. As soon as they were cleared of the iceberg, the fog rolled back down again. That was a favorite story that Grandma loved to tell all of us, and we loved to hear it.

The Welker's came from Germany to North Carolina, and from there on to Utah. My grandmother Welker, Clara Georginia Osmond Welker, on my father's side, liked to tell about the time when her mother, Georgina Huckvale Osmond, had a run-in with the Indians. She had gleaned wheat after the threshers had taken the grain from the field--she had gotten two big sacks full for her family for the winter. They were living in Wellsville, Utah, at the time. She took the wheat into her little cabin and shortly thereafter her husband had to leave, and she was left alone with her three little children. Pretty soon some Indians came, a big brave and a couple of squaws. The squaws immediately saw the wheat and ran for it, and took it. Brigham Young had cautioned the pioneers that they should never interfere. Nothing was as important as a person's life. If the Indians wanted anything they could have it. They were known to take what they wanted just for the sake of taking it. It wasn't worth risking their lives, which they would probably lose. They were not supposed to even argue with the Indians. But grandmother couldn't see those lazy squaws taking all of that wheat, which she had gleaned, kernel by kernel. So, she went after them. And she said, "you give me back my wheat!" Surprisingly they dropped it and left. For quite a while thereafter my grandfather was really worried, for fear that the Indians would try and retaliate, but they never did. Grandma felt that wheat was hers and that she deserved it.

All of my immediate grandparents were born into the church except my grandfather, Walter Hoge (born 1842). Walter left Wales on a ship, traveled around the cape of South America and then up the coast to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After a while he moved to Seattle, Washington. From there he worked his way down to Woods Cross or some place in bountiful, Utah, and began teaching school. He met Grandma Hoge when he became her teacher. They decided to get married while she was going to school. He joined the church before he married her. i don't know the story of his conversion except that he came to Utah and was converted there. After they were married, he was called by Brigham young to settle Bear Lake. Grandma Hoge had about 6 or 7 miscarriages. She was married for a while before she even had a child.

Like Nephi, I was born of goodly parents in Paris, Idaho, March 26, 1916. My father, Roy Anson Welker, was born in Bloomington, Idaho, November 9, 1878. My mother, Elizabeth Hoge Welker, was born in Paris, Idaho, December 15, 1879. All of my siblings were also born in Paris, Idaho, and life was beautiful.

Thee were nine children in our family, two boys and seven girls. The first two were boys. The first one, Gareth Hoge Welker, died when he was just very young (born March 3, 1907, and died March 17, 1907) and the second one, Roi Hoge Welker, died when he was almost 17, born January 4, 1908, died January 1, 1925. The rest of us were all girls, Maurine, Ella, Ruth, Rhoda, Margaret, Joyce and Norma. There were three bedrooms upstairs in our home and one bedroom downstairs. Ruth and I had one room, Margaret and Joyce in another one, and Ella and Maureen in the other room. Anyway, I shared a room with Ruth. We were real good palls. She was a sweetheart.

In Paris we had a big round pavilion, and the dance floor was round and on springs, so when we danced it would spring a little bit. It was a hardwood floor. When we would have dances for the adults at night, the next afternoon they would always have another dance for the children. There were lots of desserts and the children all loved to go. But I remember this particular dance on New Year's Day. I was 8 years old and my brother had been ill for quite a while in our home. We think he was sick with Typhoid Fever. he had been up by Soda Springs and drank water up there and they think he got it from there. Our folks new that Roi was getting really bad so they sent us to the dance. All of us little ones, Joyce and Margaret and me and Ruth (I think). During the middle of the dance somebody came and got us and said Roi had just died. And we came home and opened the kitchen door and there was my dad just crying, I mean sobbing and tears running down his face. I couldn't believe my eyes because he had always just seemed like the rock of Gibraltar. Daddy had always been a tower of strength to me; it seemed to me that he was indestructible. i had never even pictured my dad crying. Oh my goodness, that was the biggest shock to me. And mother was trying to comfort him. She was there with her arm around him. You would think it would have been the other way around, wouldn't you? I'm sure it was as hard on mother as it was on father, but Roi was his only boy left, with all of us girls.

I think this was almost more than he could bear. Gareth had passed away when he was only a few days old and then they lost Roi and they had six girls left and no other boys, so it was really hard. At that time I learned the meaning of grief and I thought, "Well, I'll be a son to my father. I'll do all the things a boy does." So, I used to get the cows from the pasture, and work int he garden with my father. I'd help him milk the cows and I'd clean the sidewalk. I really was a tomboy, but it was a nice life being that anyway.

Roi came to mother, well they both came (Gareth and Roi( after Roi passed away, I thought that mother was in bed and they came to the foot of the bed but remember I told you that my brother Roi was in the front room in his casket. And Ruth or somebody said they came and stood on the side of the casket and mother was there. I always thought they came and stood at the foot of her bed, but whichever. They were both grown young men, Gareth was just two weeks old when he died but Roy was 17. She could tell which one was Gareth. I can't remember if they said anything to her. I don't think they did. They just appeared there, by the casket or at the foot of the bed....I like the foot of the bed better. Maybe they did say something. They probably did...I don't know. It was pretty hard but they came--that's written down some place. They came together, both of them together. Then mother was okay and then I think Dad was okay afterwards. About ten months later mother had Normie when she was 46 years old.

Dad wasn't home much but mother was always home. He was so busy teaching and then he would go to church every night. He was the Bishop of our ward and then later he was called as President of the Bear Lake Stake--for about 17 years. The stake boundaries went from all the cities around Bear Lake clear up to Randolph, Utah. He would have to go up there to meetings and then all the way down to Ovid and other little towns. He was gone a lot. And then they had stake meetings during the week. He would just go to these other places on Sunday. He went to ward conferences for ten or more wards so was gone a lot.

My father was a school teacher. he started out teaching in the grade school, and then he taught English and other classes at Fielding High School. My father loved literature and talked about it with us. When he was young, 17 or 18, he loved to talk with his grandpa George Osmond about literature and other things. They had such a good relationship. His grandpa Osmond was living with one of his other wives over in Wyoming so my father didn't get to see him very often but whenever Grandpa Osmond would come from Wyoming (which took about two days) they would spend lots of time together Sometimes my dad would go over to Wyoming and then come back with grandpa Osmond just to be with him and talk. They could talk about everything under the sun. They had wonderful visits together. They both loved to write and knew all the proper English grammar. Grandpa Osmond moved from Bloomington to Wyoming after his second marriage.

Later my father was made Principal at Fielding High School When the Church instituted the Seminary System, he was made one of the very first Seminary Teachers in the program. He was a wonderful teacher. He was certainly a good man. Every body just loved him. He was just like Gary. My dad was asked to speak at a seminary graduation and Elder Theodore Tuttle wanted to go to that graduation because he thought so much of my dad, and he came. Elder Tuttle would take classes at the Salt Lake Institute just to hear my dad speak. He said he just loved to sit at his feet. He was a wonderful man. Daddy and mother were visiting with us in Twin Falls and Daddy went to the stake Priesthood meeting with Roy. We were having Stake conference. When Roy and Daddy walked into the meeting, Elder A. Theodore Tuttle, one of the visiting General Authorities, saw Daddy and said, "There's Brother Welker. He was one of my favorite teachers. I took every class he taught."

Also found on Family Search.org was a copy of an article from a local Bear Lake Valley, Idaho, newspaper which is dated April 8, 1937, and reads as follows: WELKER GIRLS FIRST TO SEE REAL TELEVISION...Rhoda and Joyce Welker See Television at International Fair at Leipzeg, Germany...

Editor's Note: Fortunate indeed are the Misses Rhoda and Joyce Welker, daughters of President and Mrs. Roy A. Welker, former Paris residents, who are in Germany with their parents, and obtaining a world of experience in that foreign land. During the international olympics held at Berlin last year, because of their knowledge of both English and German language, they acted as interpreters. They have been permitted to travel and see many places in Germany, but best of all th girls enjoyed the biggest thrill when they were permitted to see real television, when it was being exhibited in that country for the first time. Read below what they have to say. Mr. Welker is president of the German-Austrian LDS Mission and prior to going to Berlin, where he had his headquarters, was president of the Bear Lake stake, and principal of the Paris LDS Seminary.

Dear Mr. Wallis: Joyce and I just had the most interesting experience that we would like to tell you about. The other day we were in Leipzig, attending a big international fair known a the "Messe." All sorts of goods, from corn seed to diesel motors were on display. Orders were taken direct at the fair. Goods from Japan, Romania, England, and all over the world were to be seen, and naturally there were all sorts of inducements for people to spend their money. But the one that interested us most was that of speaking to anyone in Berlin through television. Berlin is about 100 miles from Leipzig, and according to the Germans, this connection is the only one in the world ready for public use at the present time.

We registered at the phone office, and they telephoned to Margaret at home in Berlin and told her to go at once to the main telephone office in Berlin, which is only a little ways from where we live. About forty minutes after we had registered, we were led into a booth, about four times as large as a regular telephone both. Inside was a chair like a banker's chair and we were requested to sit right in the middle of it. Directly in front of us was a screen, about one and one half feet square and underneath that, a bright blue light, which shone in our eyes. Except for that, the booth was dark. A small table was at one side of the chair and a regular French phone on that.

Suddenly we could see Margaret on the screen, laughing and talking on the phone. We piked ours up and could hear her too. She could hear and see us as well. For about six minutes we talked and laughed and pulled faces at each other, and talked with missionaries who were with Margaret in the booth in Berlin, and it was all as plain as though she were on the other end of the room.

Since the screen was small we could only see her head and shoulders, and she could only see that much of ours. Of course it wasn't in color, only in black and white like the movies. But if that is television, we kinds in the Welker family are certainly going to start pulling for it. We've never had more fun in our lives.

Everything is going along great. Seems as if things kept getting better, but I don't see how they can. We'll all be glad to see everyone back home, where butter is butter, and they speak the King's English. Please greet all our friends, and best wishes to everyone in the "Heimat." Sincerely, Rhoda and Joyce Welker.

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Rhoda Mae Babbel's Timeline

March 26, 1916
Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho, USA
November 27, 1942
Age 26
Twin Falls, Twin Falls, Idaho, USA