Pat Kiley, 87, of Damariscotta died on May 18, 2022. She was at home by the river, in the place she loved and at peace. She was born in 1934 in Norwalk, Connecticut to her loving parents, Ralph J. Buckley and Edith Olson Buckley, both of Portland, Connecticut.
Pat attended schools in Connecticut, completing high school at Mount St. Joseph Academy in West Hartford, then a bachelor’s degree from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, graduating in 1956. She returned to school in late 1970s and earned her Masters of Education from American College International in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Pat entered the working world as an English teacher at Middletown High School in Connecticut where she joined a faculty that already included her mother. She left teaching to raise her family, joining her husband Bob as he pursued his career first in Western Massachusetts, then Vermont, New Hampshire, back in Western Massachusetts. and finally to Connecticut before moving to Maine in the mid-1980s. It was upon her return to Western Mass that she was able to combine her love of history with her training as an educator and joined the staff of the museum education department in Old Sturbridge Village. Thousands of students from across the country and around the world have traveled to Sturbridge and had the chance to learn colonial cooking from a true master. It was at Sturbridge that Pat really found her voice as an educator. On her retirement from Sturbridge, she remained on the village board, giving her favorite department a voice for years to come.
In the mid 80’s Pat moved to Midcoast Maine and settled on Water Street where she would spend the next 40 years. She and Bob bought a model ship business in Bath (The Laughing Whale) where she once again combined her love of history and her joy of teaching to guide the store for the better part of a decade. After selling the business, Pat was finally able to retire with Bob and they embarked on years of travel across 6 of 7 continents.
Pat matched Bob’s dedication to giving back to his communities throughout his life. She was instrumental in the restoration of Old Fort No. 4 in Charlestown, New Hampshire and a founding member of The Barn Browsers, a group of women dedicated to finding historical artifacts to become part of the Fort’s museum collection. . While there, she also edited and published a colonial cookbook, “Foods from Fort Four,” which chronicles recipes from the French and Indian War period. In the Midcoast, Pat’s generosity and talent were on display at every fundraising event requiring cookies, including the record-breaking bake on behalf of the Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens and her annual gingerbread house-making class. at the Boothbay Harbor Opera House which was a favorite of young and old.
Her last volunteer stint was at the used book store Skidompha, where she was able to hand out concise reviews and read as many books as possible for free. She was named volunteer of the year at the bookstore in 2017.
Pat is survived by his three sons, Michael of Whitefield, Kevin of East Boothbay, Peter of Bremen; and his three siblings, Susan Harlor and her husband William Ray III of Damariscotta, Michael Buckley and his wife Mary Ann of Middle Haddam, Connecticut and Thomas Buckley of Damariscotta. She also leaves her sister-in-law and classmate, Patricia Claffey Kiley of Cohasset, Massachusetts. Pat was also a loving grandmother figure to Mae and Morgan Mitchell of Southport. She will be greatly missed by all.
The family would like to give special thanks to the amazing team of caregivers who helped Pat through his final months. Debbie Hebert, One2One Homecare, Beacon Hospice and all the additional caregivers who are the true angels of the Midcoast.
A funeral mass to celebrate Pat’s life will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Newcastle at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, followed immediately by a reception in the parish hall.
Donations in Pat’s name can be made to CHIP, Inc (Community Housing Improvement Project), PO Box 6, Newcastle, ME 04553 www.chipinc.org
Hall’s of Boothbay is handling the arrangements. To offer your condolences online, please visit hallfuneralhomes.com