Janis Marie Babcock | Obituary

December 2, 1952 – November 7, 2021

Janis Marie Babcock, nee Kehm, of Ashland, OR, passed away on Nov. 7, 2021, after a private yearlong battle with colon cancer.

Janis was born in Culver City, CA and grew up in Orange County. She then moved to the San Francisco Bay area where she spent much of her adult life. She briefly lived outside of Yosemite and in the Seattle area, before moving with her son and his family to Ashland, OR, where she eventually met her life partner, Tom.

Janis’ passion for adventure lead her to a successful career in photography, a skill she developed as a child with her first box camera. She was also a licensed airplane pilot, and certified auctioneer, dental assistant, and emergency responder. She opened a bakery and, later, a hot dog cart. She could drive a motorcycle and an 18-wheeler, and she once piloted the Fuji blimp. She could fix things around the house and wasn’t afraid to work under the hood of her car. She was a graphic designer. She enjoyed the beauty and thrills of river rafting. She ran her own pet care business. She was a beloved nanny. She was an avid community volunteer.

Janis will be most remembered for her infectiously positive spirit and her unflinching optimism. The resounding sentiment from the lifetime of friends that reached out to her in recent months was how bright and happy she always was, and how that positivity will be what they miss most from her.

She was a high-octane grandmother, involved sister, and loving aunt. Family was her most cherished asset, which she thoroughly documented in her photographs. She is predeceased by her mother, Magdalena “Lee” Gullickson; father, Herman Kehm; and stepfather, Bob Gullickson. She is survived by her son, Craig Billmeier, his wife Mary, and two grandchildren, Ramona Magdalena and Desmond; her loving partner, Tom Doolittle; sisters, Debbie Acirbo of Salt Lake City, and Karen Gonzales of Las Vegas; niece, Cyndi Roger; and nephews Zardon Roger, Kristofer Acirbo, and Jacob Gonzales.

In lieu of flowers the family asks donations be made to Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland (OHRA) at helpingashland.org, a program where she assisted at the homeless shelter, and fostered her relationship with Tom.