Thomas D. Kibbe
Enfield, N.H. — Thomas D. Kibbe, 84, died Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.
He was born Jan. 9, 1930, in Ilion, N.Y. a son of Drew and Alice (Snyder) Kibbe. After graduating from Ilion High School Class of 1947, Tom enrolled in the Leland-Powers School for Radio and Television Broadcasting in Boston, where he met classmate Shirley Ippolito, who caught his eye. He graduated first and was hired by radio station WHWB in Rutland, Vt., where he was asked to hire a new female on-air talent. Of course, the first interview was Shirley’s, leading to a proposal and a 60 year marriage. When it was time to start a family, Tom chose a career in Sales Management in business machines where his training as an actor and public speaker served him well. He had positions in Michigan, Connecticut and NYC. In 1968, the family moved to Ridgefield, Conn. which was their home for 30 years. Tom always enjoyed acting and was active in the Southbury Playhouse in Southbury, Conn. as well as being a member and past president of the Ridgefield Workshop for Performing Arts.
Upon retiring from the business world in the late 70s, Tom then took on a new endeavor becoming a co-owner and co-manager of “Donovan’s”, an historic Irish Pub in South Norwalk, Conn. His natural skills as a host and good business sense made him a successful restauranteur for 17 years.
Finally ready for “real retirement” Tom and Shirley settled in Enfield in 1998, attracted to the Dartmouth College region and its bordering location to the hills of Vermont where they had spent their early years together. But, a full-time life of leisure was not for him. He became a part-time Goodwill Ambassador at the Vermont Welcome Centers of Quechee and White River Junction, Vt. Again he was a natural in welcoming and informing travelers to the state.
He and Shirley purchased a winter home in Saint Augustine, Fla. where they enjoyed many seasons of warmth, friendship and fun in “America’s Oldest City”
Tom’s loves included trains, watching airplanes at the airport, and lighthouses. He was a lifelong avid reader and cat-lover, “father” to many beloved and lucky “KibbeCats” over the years.
He will be remembered most for his wonderful sense of humor, larger-than-life character, and his constant demonstrative love for his family and wide circle of friends.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Shirley, of Enfield; daughters, Karen Kibbe of St. Augustine, Fla. and Leanne DeCamp and her husband, Jonathan of Fair Haven, N.J.; grandchildren, David and Rebecca; a brother, Edward Kibbe and his wife, Joanne of The Villages in Florida; and a sister, Leona Kibbe of Clearwater, Fla.
A memorial service is planned for Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Gathering Room of the LaSallette Shrine, Rte 4A, Enfield.
Condolences may be expressed to Tom’s family in an online guestbook at www.knightfuneralhomes.com.
Contributions in honor of his memory may be made to The Upper Valley Humane Society, 300 Old Route 10, Enfield, NH 03748 (603-448-6888).