Obituary of Mr. Patrick Ribustello

March 15, 2019

Patrick Ribustello (Robustelli), a life-long Hell's Kitchen resident known to many as "The Mayor," died peacefully on Friday, March 15, surrounded by family and friends who loved him passionately. There will be a wake at Crestwood Funeral Home at 445 West 43rd St. on Tuesday, March 19, from 3 PM to 7 PM. And then in early May, a joyful celebration of his life will take place fittingly in a theater. He is survived by his wife Catherine Russell, his sister Kathleen, his daughters Rachel and Jennifer and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and people who somehow felt like they belonged to him even though they weren't related by blood. He was an extraordinary man—generous, opinionated, loyal, funny, and full of life.

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My sincerest condolences to Pat's family and friends. He will be missed but never forgotten.

Posted by: Jim Heyl - , - March 19, 2019

May you rest in peace Pat.

Posted by: Eileen Frye - Katy, TX - March 19, 2019

I am saddened by this news, but so grateful that I had the honor of knowing him. Several years ago he appeared as an angel sent by God to help my son and myself out of a bad situation. I am sure we were not the only ones. Thank you Mr. Pat for your kindness. I know our Lord welcomed you with open arms.

Posted by: Tobey Wood - New York, NY - March 19, 2019

Patrick was larger than life in his kindness, honesty,intelligence and sense of humor. Even though he has passed, his spirit is still so much with anyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
with sympathy to his family and his dedicated wife, Cathy,
Pamela Title

Posted by: Pamela Title - NYC, - March 28, 2019

Pat, I will miss our good old days at the in peace my friend

Posted by: Drina Kessler - Nyc, NY - May 6, 2019

Pat I will forever miss you. I have so many memories and laughter to look back on that I will cherish dearly. You were an amazing man and I always admired you and your capabilities! You beat to your own drum, were larger than life and your humor was endless. Keep them laughing in heaven. Bye for now my friend ❤

Posted by: Kathy Steinbaum - Fort Lee, NJ - July 11, 2019

I had the good fortune to know Pat over the course of 16 years working on West 46th Street. He was an anchoring, friendly and colorful presence in the somewhat gray days of the 1990s and early 2000s. Unfailingly friendly and when you knew Pat, you knew you werent anonymous or alone in the big City.... miss him already.
James from the Paramount Hotel

Posted by: James Beeler - New York, NY - October 3, 2019

How well I remember Pat. I was a retail buyer at a local family department store in Scranton, PA.
He always accommodated me with the best room at The Edison Hotel.
He showed me around the city, places I would never have been.
Rest in Piece, my friend.

Posted by: Janis H - Waverly, PA - October 8, 2019

I am so very sorry that news of Patrick’s death has just reached me here in Vancouver, BC. We first met Patrick when he was manning the counter at the lobby gift shop at The Edison. It was our first trip to NYC with a group of 15 of my high school,theatre students in tow.
Although they’d been told to bring hats or ear muffs (we were visiting in December) several students had forgotten and I sent them into the gift shop to see if they had any ear muffs for sale. My students came back out confused because while there WERE ear muffs, they did not have a price on them. I told them to ask the man at the counter (Patrick). One of my grade 12’s asked as a VERY polite Canadian, “Excuse me sir, could you please tell me how much the ear muffs cost?”
This simple question began a lovely acquaintance that lasted several yers. Patrick asked, “Where are you from?” He and my students got into a wonderful conversation about Vancouver, Whistler (Patrick was hoping to visit one day) and things to do in NYC. Finally, Patrick said, “Ear muffs- for you guys, three bucks.” So they all bought ear muffs. However, before they could leave the store a group of students (I later learned from LA) came pushing past, grabbed some ear muffs and said, “Hey man, how much?”
Patrick smiled, “For you? Five bucks.” So funny. It gets better- my students went back in an asked if they owed him more money if they were five dollars they had underpaid. Patrick had a good laugh.
After that we made a point of stopping into the gift shop every day he worked. Day by day, he shared more stories and we realized that we were in the presence of a Manhattan institution.
Two years later, he was still there when we arrived with another group of kids. This time he was very excited about a new restaurant that he’d just opened - would we be interested in coming for New Year’s dinner? It became a ritual for us to take our students to one of his restaurants and to meet him.
We exchanged a few letters and we sent him a Whistler poster. Sadly, the cost of travelling with students to NYC made it too exclusive for my students to to be able to afford and I didn’t want the theatre trip to be. “rich kids” activity. Sadly, we lost touch with Patrick, but I know he is a wonderful memory of NYC for dozens of kids from a little town just outside of Vancouver. He will always embody the humour and kindness that is at the heart of that city. Our belated, yet sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by: Shelley Evans - Vancouver, - March 30, 2022