Victor Fountain Kibler, 93, of Vails Mills, N.Y., passed away on Monday, August 19, 2013, at St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam, N.Y. He was the beloved father of sons, Paul and Keith and their wives, Jean and Robin, as well as grandfather to Emma Kibler. He is also survived by niece, Joan Stephens and her husband, Nelson Stephens and family as well as nephew, Mike Kibler and his family; and many cousins and friends. He was predeceased by his wife, Jeane; son, Mark; brother, Harold and wife; and his parents, Edwin and Florence Kibler.
Victor was a man of many talents, interests and careers. After attending Cobleskill Agricultural School and serving three years as a medic in the European theater during World War II, he returned home and pursued a variety of different careers until he found his true calling in auto mechanics. After marrying Jeane Simonds and having three sons, he ultimately became a teacher of auto mechanics at Broadalbin Central School for over 10 years. Later he became the owner of Foothills Auto Repair until retiring in 1988.
Victor's greatest loves besides his family were the church and music. Since childhood he had listened to the elder members of his family playing the fiddle and other instruments in church and at home. He decided to become proficient on the fiddle as well. He played in groups, such as the Adirondack Mountaineers during his teenage years, but he did not pursue fiddle playing or judging fiddle contests professionally until much later in life after other folk musicians discovered his talents. Once established in his musical career, Victor made an album in 1992 called "The Adirondack Fiddler" with his son, Paul and other musicians. This album received great acclaim including a Smithsonian award for two years in a row for best folk album. He received other honors subsequent to the album's success including the North Country Heritage Award in 1995. He was featured in the book, Adirondack Faces and on many radio interviews throughout New York state. He continued to play professionally until his late 80s, bringing great joy to all who heard him, particularly in his local community.
Mr. Kibler's family will receive family and friends for a viewing at the Northville Funeral Service, 401 Bridge St., Northville, N.Y., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, followed by a celebration of Victor's life and accomplishments at a service in the funeral home at 1 p.m. This will be immediately followed by a cemetery service at King Cemetery. Contributions can be made in his memory to the Disabled Veterans Association or the Gideon Foundation. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.northvillefuneralservice.com.