Nov. 7, 1949-March 12, 2022
MORGANFIELD, Ky. — In Cat Alley, when the flood waters recede and the sun comes again, a bouquet of daisies and lilies erupt from the black soil – fertile ground tended by the river bottom farmers and their families.
It was in that dark dirt where Brenda Diane Babbs Robinson was born 72 years ago, scratched out a living with her high school sweetheart and sprouted forth a family nurtured by her loving and kind nature, the bloom being the happiness that came from the joy she brought others.
And it is that same Union County ground where Brenda returns after her death Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Red Banks Nursing Home in Henderson.
Born Nov. 7, 1949, Brenda was the youngest of six children born to Houston and Lucille Babbs, who farmed the bottom land bordering the Ohio River. She spent her childhood riding ponies and on the tractor alongside her daddy as he tilled the fields of corn and beans.
The blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty was the basketball homecoming queen and popular with her classmates at Union County High School, where she graduated in 1967. One day on a school bus, Roy Robinson fought off those suitors and sat beside “the love of his life.” The two started dating, got engaged and on July 15, 1967, were married in the Morganfield First Baptist Church.
The newlyweds moved to Grove Center and into a home they shared for the next half century. While Roy farmed, Brenda worked as a secretary at several local businesses and eventually opened her own gift shop, The Robin’s Nest, and also took up photography, specializing in children’s and family portraits.
Family was important to Brenda and her greatest moments were in giving birth to her children and raising them and the grandchildren who’d follow.
In addition to her husband of 54 years, she is survived by her two sons, Rodney Robinson and his wife, Briana, of Morganfield, and Todd Robinson and his wife, Kristie, of Morganfield; and her daughter, Brooke Yoder and her husband, Kevin, of Mission Hills, Kansas; Also surviving are five grandchildren, Riley Henshaw and her husband, Johnathan, of Sturgis, Hanna Hancock and her husband, Landon, of Sturgis, Hunter Robinson, of Morganfield, and Caroline and Eloise Yoder, of Mission Hills, Kansas; and three great-grandchildren, Harper and Jameson Robert Hancock and Hadley Henshaw.
Brenda is also survived by a sister, Daisy Hina, of Sturgis; two brothers, Bill Babbs of Paducah and Don Babbs and his wife, Sue, of Sturgis; a sister-in-law, Linda Banks, of Morganfield; two brothers-in-law, Tom and Richard Robinson, of Morganfield; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, David Babbs; sister, Bonnie Pfingston; brother-in-law, George “Jeter” Hina; sister-in-law, Rose Mary Babbs; father- and mother-in-law, Harvey and Helen Robinson; and a nephew, Danny Hina.
She was a longtime member of Morganfield First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school to 4-year-olds for more than 20 years. She and a local group of women would meet weekly to play the card game “Hand and Foot.” Brenda loved to host parties and was an excellent cook known for her chicken and dumplings, French toast, broccoli and cheddar soup, and sweet tea. There was a vacation to Hawaii and a favorite trip to Alaska. She loved to garden and excelled, evident by the zinnias that grow beside her home.
There were countless “MiMi Days” with the grandchildren where they picked the venue and the menu and, for many years, Brenda oversaw the Little Mr. and Miss contest at the Union County Fair. She had a special place for all babies. That same pureness, honesty and laughter one finds in a newborn was reflected in Brenda.
“Any baby in a stroller, she just couldn’t get enough of them,” said her longtime friend, Bethell Welborn Pritchett, who served as her maid of honor. “Anybody who has that amount of love for babies has to be a pure heart. Her whole life was an open book and she shared it with everyone. There’s no kinder, gentler soul than Brenda.”
A celebration of life service was held Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the First Baptist Church in Morganfield with the Rev. Jeff McMain officiating. Visitation was held Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield and until service time on Thursday at the church. Burial was in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Morganfield.
Memorial donations can be made in Brenda’s honor to AFTD, University of Kentucky Memory Disorders Clinic, UK Medical Center, 224 Charles T. Washington Bldg., 800 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40536 or God’s Little Lambs, 220 N. Morgan St., Morganfield, KY 42437.
Whitsell Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.