The Cast of Characters

As of March 1, 2011 the Board of directors of the Kibbee Foundation are:

The first man I would like you to meet we will call Banker #1. He was entrusted with the job of making sure my mother was protected and her intentions fulfilled:

Banker #1 went to my mother's hospital room when she was seriously ill, taking with him a person she has expressly told him she did not care to see *. The reason for this visit was to try and talk my mother out of making a Foundation of her ranch. He had no business being there and the strain this put on my mother, who had been improving, caused her to fade back into such a serious condition that she was barely conscious on the day of the launching of her Foundation—something she had been looking forward to for months.

Banker #1 had been told directly by Mrs. Kibbee in front of me that she did not want to see (name omitted), but he came to Mrs. Kibbee's hospital room with (name omitted) taken from narrative of Mrs. Kibbee principal caregiver...

Well…she didn't change her mind…. so they had to look for a new way to flout her intentions. Certainly the easiest way to move things without anyone noticing is through muddy waters and they certainly did muddy the waters...My mother worried that due to the medication she was taking she might not fully understand legal documents. She entrusted me with the responsibility of reading all legal papers and attending all meetings so that nothing would slip by unnoticed,

Mrs. Kibbee has asked that Sharon be present and so we agreed that future meetings with Mrs. Kibbee would include Sharon. Mrs. Kibbee has made it clear that she is able to disagree with Sharon and has done so in my presence. I spoke with Banker #1 by phone and explained this to him. He is fine with it.

– taken from narrative of Lawyer #1

however, they made sure she was not afforded that protection...

Question...And if I understand your testimony, that your desire was that (Lawyer #1) just deal directly with Mrs. Kibbee and not include Sharon in those conversations, correct?
Answer (from Lawyer #2)...As much as possible. It was not always possible and I realize that.
Question...Why did you include Sharon in there?
Answer (from Lawyer #2)...I didn't – As a matter of practice we didn't discuss any of the estate planning in the presence of Sharon.

– taken from deposition of Lawyer #2

The result was that they were able to slip things by my mother unnoticed. In one instance Lawyer #1  took a document to the hospital for my mother’s signature. In Lawyer #1's narrative, it is stated ”I called the hospital to see if Ms. Kibbee was up for resigning the amendment. Nadine answered and asked Mrs. Kibbee if she was up to a visitor, I could hear Mrs. Kibbee answer yes.”

In Lawyer #1's deposition when asked why they had not waited until my mother got out of the hospital Lawyer #1 answered “Mrs. Kibbee called me and requested that I come.” The nurse's records for that morning state that my mother was unable to tell them where she was or why she was there and was difficult to wake up. The private caregiver's notes say...

I had trouble getting Mrs. Kibbee up that day. She was groggy and unresponsive... Lawyer #1 showed Mrs. Kibbee the papers and kept telling her her that it was very important for her to sign them. When Mrs. Kibbee was not responding well, Lawyer #1 would tell her that she needed to sign them right away. Since Lawyer #1 also told me that it was really very important, and lead me to believe this all was going on with Sharon's approval, I joined in encouraging her to sign.

– taken from deposition of Caregiver #1

Under the best of circumstances, My mother never made phone calls and certainly could not have made one on that day.

Lawyer #1 also states that while they were in my mother’s room my mother “threw the covers back and, by herself, hung her legs over the edge of the bed and sat unaided on the edge of the bed.” The doctor’s report says my mother was a “Dead Lift” and the nurse’s reports say she is a “+2 lift.” There was no way she could have been throwing her legs around and sitting up unassisted.

There is a great deal more to be told about this meeting but it is better to come in chronological order and will be found  in the timeline.

Lawyer #2, in his deposition, complained that on the occasions that I was there I made them read every word out loud to my mother.

She later discovered that she had signed a document instituting a foundation that was 180 degrees away from the instructions she had given.

She wrote a letter to her bankers and lawyers telling them that she had been misled, that she did not approve of the document that had been presented for her signature, and instructing them on how to proceed.

Mrs. Kibbees Letter

On Feb. 27 she was presented with a document that began to make that changes that she had requested, but did comply with all of her specifications. For this reason, as they were really dragging their heels and I was afraid she might pass away before they got the work done, I insisted a videotape be made. The reason for this was to record not only my mother speaking for herself but her lawyer also showing that she clearly understood the instructions my mother had given for her foundation. Though much of the video was destroyed in transit between Wyoming and NY, enough survived and the clips on this website are from that filming.

The next man I would like you to meet is Lawyer #2. He was brought in by the bank to draw up the Foundation documents:

I wrote this man the following email this past October….

"In December of 2006, when I went to Lawyer #3, on my mother's behalf, I told him that all documentation coming from your office listed the name of the Foundation incorrectly and should be changed  I do not know why¸ almost four years later that is still the case. The correct name, as can be evidenced by the plaque placed at the ranch entrance by my mother in December of 2006, is The Mercedes K. and Chandler H. Kibbee Foundation for Children. Please make those changes at your earliest convenience."

He responded...

"Unfortunately, the name on the plaque is incorrect"

I then wrote...

"The name on the plaque was chosen by my mother. The Foundation was established by my mother. My mother was not incorrect in giving instructions for the plaque. The person who wrote the documents and filed them made a mistake. Would you please see that this mistake is corrected."

He answered...

"I am sorry there was no mistake."

That pretty much demonstrates everyone's attitude about my mother's choices and the orders she gave. They decided "she was incorrect" and they did it their way.

The next person I would like you to meet is a Board member:

This person sent me an email in response to my complaint that my mother's money was not being used for the poor children she had left it to.

His emailed response says...

"So they didn't do what your mother wanted…Coulda, woulda, shoulda"

The next person I would like you to meet is connected to the group entrusted by my mother to protect her interests:

This person first voted down my mother's own mission statement. Then, in response to my inquiry as to whether they might find a better polychrom machine so I would not have so much trouble hearing board meetings that I attend by telephone, he emailed...

"it worked fine on our end.   Must be your problem, Sharon.  Deal with it!!"

It turned out, the problem was on their end.

Finally I want to introduce you to two very nice people.

The first offered to help in any way they could until they heard who the people on the other side of this situation are. Then they sent me an email saying...

"I apologize for the lateness of my reply but I have been trying to make an informed decision of what to do…..I am sympathetic to your cause…. I have a soft spot for those who are disadvantaged…. I can give you some advice but I do not want my name associated with it at all. This is very close to home and could be a career ender for me."

The other, when I asked for help, said "I have to live in this town" as a reason for not being able to help.

I want to end this first entry to my diary on a positive note. One person said to me "Your parents would be very proud of you." I will never forget that. I don't think they had any idea how much it meant to me at the time and still means to me—especially since my parents and I had not always been able to get along. Sometimes it was their fault, more often it was mine, but in the end I was able to play a small part in the conclusion of this family's history—my mother's choice to establish The Kibbee Foundation.