Babcock said his father was sick for some time and had congestive heart failure and bad lungs.
"In the end we were praying for him to join my mom and those prayers were answered," Babcock said. "He's in a better spot. Obviously any time you lose a parent, it doesn't matter how old you are it's a blow."
Mike Babcock Sr. was 78 years old.
Babcock coached the Red Wings at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and then again in Uniondale Sunday. He said he would fly home to Saskatoon Wednesday for the funeral.
"My dad was a huge hockey fan, a huge Red Wings fan and he would've been cheering for us tonight," Babcock said after a 5-4 loss to the Islanders. "He wouldn't be very impressed that we didn't get the job done."
The athletic department at McGill University, where Mike Babcock Jr. graduated from, expressed its condolences to the family on Twitter.
"Sincere condolences to #McGill grad Mike Babcock and family on the passing of his father, Mike Sr., Saturday night," the tweet read.