Actress, author and activist Patricia Hosley Kibbe died July 13 at her home in Yorktown. She was 90.
With a long career as an actress on radio, Broadway, television and commercials, Mrs. Kibbe refused to reveal her age in an interview with the Reporter Dispatch in the 1990s, saying she didn't want irrelevant information to prejudice casting directors unnecessarily.
She began to write while raising five children. Among her published works are The Hocus Pocus Dilemma, My Mother the Mayor Maybe and Mrs. Kiddy and the Moonbooms.
She visited schools to talk about her books. As the international charity she founded tells it, a 1986 speaking engagement at a middle school in Vermont about being an author inspired a change in her life work. She showed the children a photograph and newspaper article about a young refugee boy from Cambodia. One student raised his hand and asked if they could write to him. She explained that they couldn’t write to him because he spoke a different language, then suggested that they could draw a picture. They did draw a picture for that little boy, and she took it all the way to Cambodia to deliver it to him.
In 1991 she created Kids to Kids International so that many children could communicate with each other around the world. "From that point on Pat dedicated her life’s work to helping American children create picture books to send to children all over the world in an effort to promote peace and friendship beyond our borders," the staff at KTKI wrote on their webpage about her death. "'Friendship Boxes' as they are called include student created picture books, school supplies, and a disposable camera for the recipients to take photographs and send them back. Kids to Kids International has worked with numerous organizations including the United Nations, AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and many more to distribute thousands of books and school supplies to children in refugee camps and war torn countries throughout the world."
Mrs. Kibbe loved the white colonial home she and her husband John lived in since 1954—especially the sound of the wind through the huge pine trees near the house.
There will be a memorial service at 7 p.m. July 24 at St Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 2405 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights. A reception at 582 Viewland Drive will follow immediately afterwards.
A current exhibit at the Yorktown museum features her talents and work.