Obituary: Ann R. (Gill) Hibbard, 84, of Prudence Island

Ann R. (Gill) Hibbard, 84, of Prudence Island, left this earth on March 3. Family and friends are invited to calling hours at Connors Funeral Home.
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PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Ann R. (Gill) Hibbard, 84, of Prudence Island, left this earth on March 3. She was the daughter of the late Muriel (Buckley) and Raymond Gill of Pawtucket. Ann was predeceased by Albert (Dudley) Hibbard, her husband of 57 years.

Ann is survived by two daughters, Katherine Hibbard of Prudence Island and Beth Hibbard Oman of Michigan. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, LCDR USNR [RET] Stephen and Priscilla Gill (Prudence Island); her sister-in-law, Marietta L. Hibbard of Vermont; three nieces, Wendy Hibbard of Connecticut, Melinda Kruder of Illinois, and Susan Pepper of Colorado; and numerous cousins and their families.

Ann was a wife, mother, traveler, teacher, cook, bread baker and more. She graduated from Pawtucket East High School, and she earned her bachelor’s degree at Sargent College (part of Boston University) and her master’s degree at SUNY College at Cortland. Her first teaching job was in Bennington, VT, where she met and married Al. They had two children, and lived in Pennsylvania and then in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. Travel was a big part of her life with Al; they traveled all over the world together and lived in Sweden and France. Ann was a long-time volunteer for her church’s Altar Guild and for the Girl Scouts, where her love of travel continued. She led several trips for the Girl Scouts, including trips to Boston, the Rocky Mountains/western US, and the Olympics (in Montreal). Ann loved classical music, ballet and theatre; she and Al were Festival Ballet season subscribers for many years, and she attended musical theatre productions at PPAC and Trinity Rep with Al and Kate.

Prudence Island was Ann’s home; she had been coming to the island since WWII, and she and Al moved to the island permanently almost 35 years ago. In her youth, she taught swimming, played the church organ, and participated in the fairs and festivals on the island. As an adult, she continued to be very involved with Island life, volunteering at the island school; teaching bread making; knitting at weekly Stitch and Chat meetings; participating in Dining Around the World travel presentations; enjoying get-togethers, cookouts and the Island’s progressive and game dinners; and so much more. She gardened; picked berries; canned jams, jellies and produce from the garden; grew orchids and read every day.

Throughout her life, Ann was also a champion for those who had fallen on hard times. She quietly helped others in need, buying heating oil to get a family through a cold spell or providing clothing or other essentials a person might need. While living on Prudence, she baked thousands of loaves of bread that were distributed to those who were hungry in the Bristol area.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ann’s memory may be made to the RI Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Ave., Providence, RI 02907 (http://www.rifoodbank.org/) or the Prudence Island Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 305, Prudence Island, RI, 02872 (http://www.pivfd.org/).

Connors Funeral Home is entrusted with all arrangements. Family and friends are invited to calling hours at Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI, on Sunday, March 12 from 10 am to 1 pm. A celebration of Ann’s life will be held on Prudence Island this summer. Services and burial will be private.

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