Cleo Warden (Babacas)
Cleo (Babacas) Warden, 65, of Wilbraham, passed away into eternal life on January 10, 2018, surrounded by the care and comfort of her loving family. Born in Springfield on September 28, 1952, she was the daughter of the late Socrates and Harriet (Leocopoulos) Babacas. Cleo grew up in the Sixteen Acres section of Springfield, graduating from Classical High School in 1970 and Cazenovia College in 1972. Cleo, fondly known as Ms. Whitney by the hundreds of students she taught over the years, truly loved working with children. She taught at Happy Hill Nursery School and was a kindergarten aide in the Wilbraham School District. For 14 years, Cleo was the administrative assistant of the Middle School at Wilbraham & Monson Academy and many will remember her as ‘Hazel Dazel’ and ‘Jojo the Clown’ at various Wilbraham school activities.
Active in her faith, Cleo was a parishioner of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Springfield. She was a participant in the Over 60 Club and a member for many years in the color guard of the St. George Olympians Drum and Bugle Corps. An outgoing vivacious personality, Cleo enjoyed performing in local theater and was a successful Tastefully Simple consultant. Cleo loved traveling with her husband Charles and spending weekends at their cabin on Queen Lake. She adored spending time with her family; they meant the world to her and filled her life with love and happiness. Cleo was a loving wife, proud and caring mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She was a pillar of the community and everyone who had the honor and privilege of knowing Cleo will miss her deeply.
Cleo leaves her devoted husband Charles Warden, her loving children Stacey Whitney Peabody and her husband Kevin of Wilbraham, Jonathan Whitney of Albany, New York and Shelley Whitney McCloskey and her husband Jim of Wilbraham. Cleo also leaves her precious grandchildren Ryan, Ava and Ella Peabody and Brooke McCloskey. Also cherishing her memory are her beloved sisters Starla George, Marianthy Litera, Pamela Farrell and her husband Robert and Tina Zarlenga. Cleo also leaves her nieces Elizabeth Alicea-Torres, Christina Kuhn, Andrea Nawazelski, Allison Litera, Krysten Farrell, Jennifer Liebel and Katie Farrell, whom she adored. Throughout her life, Cleo had many wonderful friendships, especially those she shared with Mary Ann Patenaude and Sandy Shibley.
Visiting hours will be 3 to 6 p.m., Monday, January 15, 2018 at Sampson’s Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home, 21 Tinkham Road, Springfield. Cleo’s funeral service will begin at 10 a.m., Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 22 St. George Road, Springfield. Burial to follow at Hillcrest Park Cemetery, 895 Parker Street, Springfield.
Memorial contributions in honor of Cleo may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 22 St. George Road, Springfield, MA 01104.