Artist Jan Sharkey Thomas (1930-2022) has died at home in Ganges at age 91, predeceased by her loving husband Clifford Kelly.

Our family’s ‘Cat Woman’ was an artist extraordinaire, legendary hermit and lover of nature and all her animal kingdom. Jan lived life on her own terms and with powerful commitments she held throughout her life, to observe, create and share her special talent for revealing the unique personalities inherent in animals everywhere. Through her art, she humanized her subjects, be they cats, ocelots, raccoons, birds and deer, otters or whales. She depicted her subjects exposing their individuality as deserving and equal members of the planet’s eco-system. If artists can be said to be painting self-portraits within their work, Jan had an uncanny way of putting herself into her painted animals and it’s through their eyes, particularly those of the feline species, Jan will have lingering presence for a long time.

She is remembered lovingly by friends and a huge extended family. We, her sons, Antony, Ethan and Paul, while missing her dearly, are so very proud to live on in her legacy of self-expressive imagination and wonder found in this precious existence of life she gave us.

A fond and special thank you to Antony and the VA home services for making it possible for her to stay at home near her bird & deer feeder window for as long as possible.

In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to pay tribute, by any support to nature conservancies and animal rights societies that expand awareness of the importance of, and inter-connectiveness of all life forms on our delicate and beautiful planet.

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