01/29/1929 - 01/27/2018
In Loving Memory of Nanci Deane Babigian (born Mary Frances McFadden) who passed from this world on January 27, 2018, in Sarasota, Florida. Nanci is survived by George Robert Babigian, her loving husband of 43 years [married October 12, 1974]; her children, Bill (Cori) Kees, John (Bonnie) Kees, Pam Kees Hirsch (Milt), Rich Kees, Robbie Babigian, Deborah Rose (Babigian) Delle-Grazie, and Paul Babigian; and by her grandchildren Aram, Courtney, Joe, Lisa and Nina. Nanci was born on January 29, 1929, in St. Paul, Minnesota, daughter of Francis and Irene (Deane) McFadden, and sister of Leon McFadden, formerly of Ft. Jones, CA, and Peggy Deane-Redish, formerly of New York City, all of whom she had dearly loved. Her name was not the one given her at birth, but a name of choice, a choice made after a childhood of being tortured by her friends with the nickname of “Fancy Francy,” so as soon as she was legally able to do so she changed her given name to Nanci and her middle name to Deane to honor her step-father, George Deane. Nanci’s family relocated to Illinois and she graduated from New Trier High School and received her Bachelor and Master’s degree from Northwestern University. Nanci remained in the Chicago area to pursue her career in Public Education teaching English and Great Books at New Trier High School. She fell in love with George R. Babigian after he wooed her by sending her an envelope each day with a single peanut in it and a note saying something like “I’m nuts about you.” A corny ploy, to be sure, but he persisted and won her heart and, not too long after, her hand in marriage. Nanci and George both worked in Public Education and were united in their belief in the value of public education and service, continuing both after their retirement on Siesta Key in Sarasota. Nanci worked for decades with the Sarasota League of Women Voters (past President), teaching Great Books in continuing education classes, and involvement with civic organizations and public events on Siesta Isles (past President). Her life touched so many of us, including her many students, many of whom, even years after graduating from High School, would visit just to let her know what a positive impact she had on their lives. She loved art, and became very good at painting in water color. Her love of art and travel combined when Nanci and George traveled the world, visiting almost every continent, with an emphasis on France, a country she had loved since her childhood. In 1994, George whisked her off to the Philippines, where her mother, Irene Manila Lambert was born, and where, when it was discovered that she was the granddaughter of the founding (Leon Lambert in 1919) member of Rotary Club of the Philippines, they were wined and dined by that country’s finest– an unexpected treat for a visit to a country she had only known through family stories. Nanci was asked to give a speech at the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Rotary Club of the Philippines and would always remember giving the speech to this august body (sitting on the dais with the President of the Philippine’s) dressed in her wrinkle free travel clothes as all the other guests were all dressed in Tuxedo’s and fine evening gowns. Nanci, your husband, your children, grandchildren, and all of us you have touched, we will love you and hold your memory dear for all our lives. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018 from 2pm to 4pm at The Signature Room, Geckos, 5585 Palmer Crossing Circle, Sarasota, FL - 941-587-9016.
We miss you!
It is with great sadness, that we send our condolences to you, for your loss! You and your family, are in our thoughts and prayers!
Our Thoughts & Prayers go out to the Kees & Barbigian Families! GOD Bless you all, in your time of bereavement!
George, please accept my condolences, and all my love. I am so grateful for all you have done for mother, and for all of us. I love you, and please let me know if I can do anything for you. Love, Rich
We love you.
Nanci will be fondly remembered by colleagues and her former student at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL where she taught English and served as a student sdviser. She was a caring and effective teacher. Her life was rich and full. Indeed she touched the lives of people wherever she went. She cast a long and enduring shadow. May peace be with her.
Now two great women have passed. They are together now with Leon. Our condolences to George and all my cousins , Love Kathy and Ray
Nancy i wish that we had made that visit we planned. I will miss you. Love Milt
Mrs. Kees was my advisor from 1965-1969 at New Trier West. She was so caring and happy all the time. She understood that we freshmen were "lost" and overwhelmed with the newness of high school - even though there were only a few buildings open when we began at NTW. We always knew that Mrs. Kees cared about us. She even came to my family's home when we needed some extra help...That's Mrs. Kees who will always have a special place in my heart! I am happy to know that she had such an enriching travel life outside of our school. The world of education needs more Mrs. Kees'!