Established by family and friends of the late Pat Klibanoff, the fund honors the memory of a beloved mom, wife, friend and social worker who dedicated her life to helping children and families—and all who knew her—lead successful lives.
Beginning in 2010, one promising postdoctoral trainee will be chosen annually who has demonstrated talent in and/or passion for one or more of the following areas: advocacy, compassion, empowerment, school-based mental health services, parent education, women’s equality, and continuing education.
I feel fortunate to have found Washburn Center for Children as a place to create a permanent memorial perpetuating mom’s spirit and life’s work. Pat’s legacy is in great hands here. As the endowment grows, it will continue to strengthen Washburn and, in turn, strengthen families in the Minneapolis community that I have come to call home.
About Pat Klibanoff
Pat grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, spent part of her college years in New Orleans, studied in London, England, and finally landed in Boston, Massachusetts where she worked in a biology lab on the development of the birth control pill. She married Allen Klibanoff (1961), earned her MSW at Boston University (1966), and moved back to Allen’s hometown of Providence, Rhode Island to find work and start a family. They raised son, Peter, and daughter, Kathryn, while Pat worked part time as director of family life education for Family Service (1975-78) and later full-time as the only social worker in the East Greenwich, RI public schools (1979-1991).
Pat made her professional mark building good relationships with her clients and teaching parents the skills needed to advocate effectively for their children. She, too, was a dedicated advocate for children and families at their homes, in schools, and at the state legislature. Always on the cutting edge, Pat presented at NASW conferences and state workshops and was an early adopter of the tenets of reality therapy—a practical, problem-solving approach to counseling. She was a mentor to younger social workers and a trusted resource for just about everyone on just about any topic. Pat made countless connections for people.
Pat was a feminist and women’s equality activist. She was all about finding work-life balance. Her favorite children’s stories and songs came from Free to Be You and Me. Her mission as a mom was to help her children feel good about themselves and their choices. Pat’s mottos were “Live life in the present” and “One day at a time.” Her many hobbies included cooking, gardening, tennis, reading, Scrabble, traveling, music, theater, crafts, and art appreciation. She was a people person who cultivated relationships and paid attention. She was a good listener. In 1992, after attending Kathryn’s graduation from college, Pat died of cancer at 55 years old.