Patricia “Pat” Hosley Kibbe died peacefully at her home in Yorktown, New York on Sunday, July 13th, surrounded by her loving family. She was 90 years old and lived a full and well-rounded life.
Pat was born on September 2, 1923 to Loring and Frances Hosley, and grew up in Southwick, Massachusetts. Her father was vice president of Indian Motorcycles, and Pat graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She turned down a scholarship to Wellesley College in order to pursue an acting career. She attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and after graduating in 1944 appeared on Broadway in the musical “Janie”, as well as other well-known theater productions. She had a successful career in radio and played “Gladys” in the long-running and popular “Henry Aldrich Family” radio program.
As the television industry emerged, Pat made the transition from radio to TV and became a pioneer in live TV, including performances on Armstrong Circle Theater and early syndicated comedies – she appeared on “The Honeymooners”, where she played Agnes, Alice Cramden’s sister, and early TV shows including “Car 54 Where Are You?”. As Madison Avenue ascended and it came time to raise a family, Pat transitioned to commercial work – she made memorable TV commercials for Dove, Playtex, and General Mills – among her memorable lines were “There’s a Dove in my pantry!” and the still famous “I’m cukoo for CoCo Puffs!”
Pat and her husband John (Jack) Kibbe purchased their home in Yorktown 60 years ago in 1954. They raised five children and both Pat and Jack were active contributors to the growing Yorktown community. Pat helped start a Christian Science church in Yorktown and donated her time to the Yorktown schools and many other schools in the Westchester area.
Pat and Jack purchased a summer home on Whistler Avenue on Fishers Island in 1966, which they renovated with the help of their children. Pat loved the Island community and was well known by generations of children for her milkshake parties. She loved the history of Fort Wright, she was a steadfast supporter of the Fishers Island ferry crew at any softball game held on the Island and she was an active participant in the Fishers Island Library and the Fishers Island School. She was known on the Island for her ready smile and standard greeting, “Hello my love!”
After a vibrant career in theater, radio and TV, Pat started to write. She was a gifted storyteller who found her material in the joy of surprise of everyday life. She wrote three well received books for young adults – The Hocus Pocus Dilemma, My Mother the Mayor Maybe and Mrs. Kiddy and the Moonbooms – all of which were originally published by Knopf and have been recently re-published by the Author’s Guild.
Pat was deeply committed to humanitarian goals. In 1991 she founded Kids to Kids International. Her organization allowed children in the United States to send school supplies and picture books to children in refugee camps, and enabled children in refugee camps to make picture books to return to children in the United States. Pat’s goal was not to create pen pals – she wanted to provide educational resources for children living in refugee camps, but just as importantly, she wanted to inspire and empower children in the United States to contribute to a larger, global, community.
She is survived by her husband of seventy years, her five children and her six grandchildren. Donations in her memory can be made to the Fishers Island Library Association, Box 366, Fishers Island NY 06390.