Katharine Philbrick

May 14, 1927December 19, 2020

Katherine E. Boardman Philbrick (1927-2020)

While sitting in her favorite chair and gazing out on the orchard and fields she loved, Katharine Boardman Philbrick (“Katy”) died peacefully on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at her home in Madison, Maine. She cared deeply for her immediate and extended family, for her church family, and for her friends. Katy was a loving Mom, Stepmom, Grandmother and wife. Katy’s legacy will be her kindness and empathy toward all she knew, often placing their needs above her own. She delighted in and encouraged the accomplishments of others and shared in their joys and their sadness. Katy was born in London, England on May 14th, 1927, the daughter of Sylvia Brockway and Roy C. Boardman. She attended elementary school there until the onset of World War II in 1939, when she and her mother and brother were fortunate to find refuge in Littleton, NH, where she graduated from the High School as the war ended in 1945. She went on to receive a B.A. from Radcliffe College. In 1948, she was married to Lt. Paul D. LaFond, USMC, originally of Skowhegan, and moved with him and their three sons, Geoffrey, Peter and Mark from place to place as his career progressed. (13 moves over 20 years). During his absences because of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, she and her sons remained in Skowhegan. At another time, they spent two years in the Philippines. Occasionally, she was a teacher in elementary schools as they traveled. Their marriage ended in divorce. In 1970, she was married to William L. “Bill” Philbrick in Littleton, where she had been employed as coordinator of volunteer services for White Mt. Community Services, and returned with him to Skowhegan, where they made their home and delighted in the times when their blended family of four sons and two daughters could be there with them. His was a tradition of service to his community, which never ended until his death in 1997, and she enjoyed becoming involved also. She served as a board member and past president of the Redington-Fairview Hospital Auxiliary, secretary of the Skowhegan Women’s Club, secretary of the Community Concert Association, group leader of the Junior Great Books Program for SAD 54, and Executive Board member of the Skowhegan Women’s Aid Society. Katy was always an active communicant of All Saints’ Episcopal Church, where she served as chair of the Church Women, was a longtime Clerk of the Vestry, and at the time of her death was a member of the Altar Guild. During their marriage, she and Bill often spent time traveling to be with family – springtime in England with her father, visits with various of their children in Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, and frequent winter visits with Bill’s parents in Florida. Until his retirement from his independent insurance agency, they enjoyed attending yearly conventions in many different cities across the country. However, their greatest joy was their family, as it grew to include beloved sons and daughters-in-law and eventually thirteen special grandchildren. They were also blessed with many good friends as their all-too-short 27 years passed by. Katy will be so missed and long remembered by her sons Geoffrey and wife Anne LaFond; Peter and wife Michelle Jodoin LaFond; Mark LaFond and wife Vickie Riley; stepson William (Billy) Philbrick and wife Nancy Brucker; stepdaughter Kathy Philbrick-Gates and husband Skip Gates; stepdaughter Judy Philbrick, as well as her grandchildren: Sarah Delaney Jackson, Hunter LaFond, Elyse LaFond, Emily LaFond, Michael LaFond, Bennett LaFond, Grace Riley, Sam Gates, Peter Gates, Melissa Gates, Jasmine Gates, Kendra Elliston and Conor Elliston. Katy was predeceased by her husband William Philbrick and by her grandson William Henry Philbrick Gates. Katy is also survived by six nieces and nephews. Katy was predeceased by her husband William L. Philbrick; her brother Howard Boardman, and her grandson William Henry Philbrick Gates. Special thanks to Laura Peterson, whose loving home care and companionship gave Katy the gift of staying happily in her own home in the last years of her life. Funeral services and a celebration of her life will be held at Katy’s beloved All Saints Episcopal Church in Skowhegan whenever it will be safe to gather. Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Smart & Edwards Funeral Home, 183 Madison Ave., Skowhegan, Maine. Anyone who wishes to leave the family messages can do so on our website at –

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Katy’s name to All Saints Episcopal Church, 169 Malbon Mills Rd., Skowhegan, ME 04976.


Katharine Philbrick

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Deborah Lefevre

January 2, 2021

Dear everyone in the Lafond family,
In keeping with the tradition Gene and I began 13 years ago when we got our farm in Frenchtown, NJ, of planting trees in memory of those who have passed, we will plant a Sugar Maple in honor of Auntie Kay, next to our dad's Sugar Maple. Our mom Marguerite has a lovely Japanese Maple planted, Anne's husband Sam will get a huge Linden tree that flowers profusely and grows up to 50 feet. Sam was small in stature, but his impact and influence in the dance world were immense, so we thought that tree would be a great representation for him. Gene's Dad passed 9 years ago and we planted a massive Oak and Lil, his mom is honored by a Magnolia. It will be so nice to see the trees bloom and prosper year to year, remembering our loved ones.

Deborah Boardman Lefevre

January 2, 2021

Dearest Lafond cousins and grandchildren of Auntie Kay,
Our beloved Katie was a beacon of strength and happiness growing up for the six Boardman children who always loved coming to visit, to see God's country as our dad would always say, and treasure our precious time together. Being in the country with fresh air, the mountains, the haystacks, the amazing lobster meals- when Uncle Bill would somehow miraculously hypnotize 12 lobsters to stand on their heads, were all memories that our family shared and held dear, even back then. We greatly appreciated seeing Grammie, Auntie Kay, and Bill, and of course, our very cool cousins that we all were in awe of. How we loved being in Maine. Life was so different in Exit 4 of the NJ Turnpike, Cinnaminson, NJ- so to head north anytime truly was a gift of time that none of us will ever forget. To see Auntie Kay shine with everyone around was always so special. We will remember her energy, love, and devotion to the family forever.
Love, Debbie

Andrea Boardman

December 30, 2020

Sending our condolences from Montreal. Though it was many years ago, we treasure the memories of having visited Auntie Kay and Bill at their home in Maine. I can still see their smiling faces, reflecting the joy they experienced in life. I always admired her courage and compassion and the wisdom it took to have lived such a fulfilling life.

We will keep her and the entire family in our hearts and prayers.

With warm regards to all,

Andrea Boardman

Linda Nickerson

December 30, 2020

Katy meant so much to our family and I'm sad to hear of her passing but know that she is now with so many of her friends and family that are missed so dearly. I will always have the fondest memories of her and Bill and the close friendship they had with my parents. She was a very special person.

Holmes & Doris Stockly

December 27, 2020

To all the family of Mrs. Philbrick: we are distant Stockly family cousins, and altho we never had the chance to know your mother, we knew she also resided in ME but didn't know how to contact her.
(we live in Falmouth, ME) We have done a fair amount of genealogical research, with the help of a cousin nearer to your side of the family, & if any of you are ever interested, would be happy to share it with you. Meanwhile we send deepest sympathy on your loss. She surely was a remarkable woman. We found a copy of her mother's entertaining book: 'Respectfully Yours, Annie" if you don't have one.
Sincerely, Holmes & Doris Stockly

Abigail Norling

December 26, 2020

So sorry I didn't get a chance to say goodby Katie. You knew I love you, and will always remember your wonderful, kind, loving friendship.

peter g drever jr

December 24, 2020

She “muddled along” graciously. Thank you!

Sibvlle Thurston

December 23, 2020

A wonderful lady and friend left this world. It was a delight to have known Katie and family. My condolences to her three sons and her stepchildren.
She will be missed Here and heaven got a bright, funny and wonderful angel.
Someday we will have our special hours together again.
Enjoy your new surroundings and reunions,