Kathleen Tibbetts, of Steep Falls, 81, passed away at home on Sept. 9, 2023 with family by her side, after bravely facing a long period of declining health.
Kay enjoyed a well-lived life as a caring mom, affectionate grandmother, playful friend, appreciative employer, and beloved matriarch of many community homes that served and enhanced the lives of countless clients.
Born to Alice and Robert Foster, she was raised in Round Pond. At a young age she worked alongside her family in their many business ventures. She waitressed when her family built and started the first restaurant in Round Pond — the Anchor Inn. She tended younger siblings, tended her family antique shop in the building where Round Pond Coffee now stands. In Bristol High School she enjoyed running track and jumping hurdles. Kay spent summers jumping in for a swim in the harbor before work or taking the 1951 Ford sedan to Biscay loaded with family or friends, or helping make crabmeat rolls for the family food concessions, bookkeeping, and running antiques at her family’s auctions.
She studied nursing at the University of Maine and soon married and gave birth to a son whom she loved dearly.
Kay liked adventure. In her early 40s she decided to learn to fly a plane. It was not uncommon for her to be found sailing out of Portland Harbor making the sixth on a sailing crew, or free diving off enormous boulders in Sebago Lake State Park, snorkeling in Mexico, or in the Caribbean, or Puerto Rico. She was generous. Encouraging others to come enjoy Mexico with her, Excaret was one of her favorite destinations.
Kay truly appreciated theater, a joy she fostered in her granddaughter, Justine. She took enormous pleasure in hearing others sing, especially Justine. Kay felt fortunate to have grandchildren nearby.
Often for the pleasure of clients who shared her home, she raised horses, chickens, cats, dogs, even peacocks. She enjoyed her hot tub, pool, and the heavily bearing peach tree that grew beside it.
She found strength in her faith, focusing on what is good and true and beautiful. She constantly tried to think of what was good and to think of others even toward the end when experiencing pain. She would begin a conversation habitually by telling what had happened that day and following it with “and THAT was a good thing!”
She looked for beauty in little things – birds at a feeder, a grandchild’s hug, a candle, a child’s smile, a flower, or favorite song.
Her legacy is one of compassion and passion. Though Kay will be truly missed she will not be forgotten. Her memory will live on in the hearts of countless people she loved and in joyful memories she created along the way.
Kay leaves behind her loving son, Mark Tibbetts and wife, Maureen, of Steep Falls. She was known as “Nana” by her grandchildren, Brent, Joe, Justine, and Mark Robert, of Steep Falls. She is also survived by her brother, Robert Foster, of Newcastle, and wife, Marilyn; sister, Sandy Holme, of Bristol, and husband, Charles; sister, Anne Bourne, of Bristol; and several nieces and nephews.
A service will be held Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. at Livingstone Community Church, 711 Ossipee Trail W., in Standish. Light refreshments to follow.