Thank You all for bearing with me, and for visiting Merci-Notes!
I just heard that Bill Keene has died at the age of 89 years. Perhaps, you have been
so lucky to have seen his work! He was the marvelous cartoonist and creator of
"The Family Circus". As a child, this was my most favorite cartoon in the newspaper.
Mr Keene was not a trained Cartoonist! He went to Northeast Catholic High School in
Philadelphia, PA. It was while there that he taught himself to draw. He would use those
cartoonists that he admired to hone his skills. The Philadelphia Daily News granted him
his first published work in 1936. He was only 13 1/2 years old!!!
When Bill was 20 he joined the United States Army, 1942-1945. While serving, there were
a number of important things that happened to him. He met his wife, Thelma Carne, while
he was serving in Australia and they were married there. He also did drawings for the
Stars and Stripes Newspaper ~ Pacific Edition.
Well, they started their U.S. life in Pennsylvania, Thelma and Bill had five children
and true to many comics and comedians, his wife was his inspiration for the "Mommy"
in the comic strip. His Cartoonist career took off also.
It was not until 1960, while living in Arizona, that the "Family Circus" comic strip started!
This cartoon series was true to life for me... the funny things that happen to families as
days come and go. What a gift to families ~ to laugh at your day and also give thanks.
It is no surprise that Mr. Keene collaborated with Erma Bombeck, another person who
enjoyed the funny things in everyday life. Some of my favorite comics of his were
the "who did it?" ones, where the answer is "I duno, or Not Me". I also loved the
path Jeffy would take when coming home from school or doing a quick errand for
Thank You Mr. Keene for all the love that you gave to us.
Visit the Family Circus site for * Mr. Keene's own take on his life!
* click on the top link "Life and Times of Bil what's is name"