Kathryn Annette (Whiteman) HibbardJuly 20, 1935 ~ December 7, 2017 (age 82)
Kathryn Annette Hibbard (nee Whiteman) passed away quietly in her sleep December 7, 2017 at the age of 82 in West Linn, Oregon. A celebration of Kay’s life will be held January 20, 2018 from 1 to 3 pm at Ainsworth House and Garden, 19130 Lot Whitcomb Drive, Oregon City, Oregon. All who knew Kay are welcome to attend.
Kay was a gifted mother and educator who touched the lives of hundreds of children and families over her 30+ year career in Parkrose, Oregon City and West Linn. Known for her compassionate and patient manner, she spent most of her teaching years in elementary classrooms cultivating the excitement for learning she endeared in so many. Seeking new challenges Kay went back to school, earning her Masters in Education degree from the Portland State University. Kay embarked into a new career as a Librarian & Media Specialist, creating an inviting environment where all children were welcomed, learning to love the written word as much as she did.
After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1957 where Kay was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, she met her husband Larry Hibbard and began her life journey in Reedsport, Oregon. A short time later, Larry entered service in the US Army and transferred to Baltimore, Maryland where Kay gave birth to her two sons, Greg and Brad. Kay kept her skills sharp by substituting in a nearby elementary school where she walked from their small brick rowhome in east Baltimore for almost 2 years.
Returning to Oregon and settling in the Parkrose area of east Portland, Kay set about building a strong family unit and gave birth to daughter Lori in 1962. Teaching both full and part time while raising a family was no small task that Kay loved and treasured. Since both Kay and Larry were educators, summers were spent with family and friends on the Oregon coast or camping in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. In 1970 the Hibbard’s built their dream home on the side of a hill overlooking her birthplace in Oregon City. Over the next twenty years, Kay worked in a variety of roles in the Oregon City and West Linn school districts impacting everyone she came into contact with through her quiet, classy approach.
After losing husband Larry to cancer in 1990, Kay entered the next chapter of her life, remaining centered on family and friends. After retiring she came to love travel, experiencing many of the World’s Wonders. In 1996 Kay met and married a fellow U of O alum, James Light, who had lost his wife to cancer several years earlier. The next twenty years saw Kay and Jim traveling the world, attending Oregon Duck football games and treasuring each other’s company while splitting residency between West Linn and Palm Springs, CA. Family members recall with fondness seeing Kay and Jim walking hand-in-hand like school children.
Teaching remained Kay’s passion throughout her life and she instilled in her children the same passion for learning that continues today. All three of her children achieved advanced degrees excelling in both the classroom and professional world, a testament to her example and support as both a mother and educator. Kay remained active in education after retiring, serving on the West Linn Library Advisory Board.
Kay will be remembered by all who knew her as a loving, caring and kind soul who lived her life by example for others to emulate. She will be greatly missed as a loving mother, sister and wife to those left behind, including sister Candice (Larry) Wilson, husband James Light, sons Greg (Karolyn) and Brad, daughter Lori (Ada) and grandchildren Christopher (Kaow) and Nadeen (Gavin) Vawter. Memorial donations may be made in Kay’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://www.alz.org/).