With a great sense of loss, we announce that after a 12-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease Deborah Solaini Babcock has peacefully passed away at the end of January 2022, just a mere week after her 67th birthday.
Deborah went by many names — Debbie/Deb to her friends & family or “Chirp” to her Girl Scout troop members.
Debbie was born in January 1955 to parents William R. Solaini and Mary Ellen Whittier, and was a long-standing San Marino resident. She attended San Marino High School and graduated from Occidental College with a prestigious degree in musical theatre. She was a dedicated wife, friend, mother and host.
Upon graduation, Debbie moved to Tokyo, Japan, to preform for many months at the initial opening of Tokyo Disneyland. Her passion for music was contagious, as she was always singing in the car or strumming her guitar. The beauty of her voice was noticed as she also performed the National Anthem numerous times at Dodger Stadium.
Debbie was a humanitarian and donated years of her life to help the less fortunate. She was a long-standing board member of the Pasadena Art Alliance and the Armory Center for the Arts. She was heavily involved in the Pasadena Art Alliance’s biannual “Treasure Sale,” which facilitated her passion for bringing art education to underprivileged children. Further, she was a founding board member of the San Marino Schools Foundation. She and her husband, Bernie, were known for throwing lavish fundraisers for causes they cared about, Student/Parent class parties through the San Marino PTA and Cub Scout events. With her warm and creative demeanor, it was no surprise that Debbie was known as the city’s best Cub Scout Den Mother. Debbie was also involved in the executive boards of Valentine Elementary School, Huntington Middle School and her alma mater, San Marino High School.
Debbie’s love for animals was a large part of her life. Her family and friends lovingly called her “Mother Theresa” as she would always be saving stray birds, lizards, squirrels and ducks. She even went as far to carefully remove spiders, bees or any other insects that invaded the house. She saw the beauty in these animals, and it was clear to see that her caring and loving attitude spanned to any living creature she encountered. Her daughter’s fondest memory of her “Dr. Doolittle” antics was keeping her from school one day in order to assist in saving a gopher who had been injured in the yard — the gopher received CPR through a plastic straw and lived to see another day.
As an avid lover of the outdoors, Debbie could always be found gardening, playing tennis or enjoying long nature walks. She also was a sports fanatic and could always be found at USC football games … always rooting for Pete Carroll and always “fighting on.”
Deborah is survived by her husband, Bernie Babcock; daughter, Amelia Babcock; stepsons, Bartley and Everett Babcoc; and younger sisters, Donna Coffin, Joanie S. Draper and Katherine Barnard. Her death leaves us all with immense sadness but inspires us to value the beauty of life as she did.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held on March 5, 2022, at the Valley Hunt Club beginning at 12 p.m. in Pasadena, CA. We encourage you to RSVP at dsb-celebration.com. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to the Labelle Foundation in her name and honor.