'Family Circus' Mommy Dies at 82

Real-life mom inspired long-running cartoon character
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2008 2:42 AM CDT
Thelma Keane, the wife of "Family Circus" cartoonist Bil Keane and the inspiration for the Mommy character, right, has died of Alzheimer's disease. She was 82.    (AP Photo/Bil Keane courtesy Gail Keane)
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(Newser) – The inspiration for the mom in the popular Family Circus cartoon has died at the age of 82 of Alzheimer's disease. Thelma Keane was the wife of cartoonist Bil Keane, who based the long-running strip of domestic hilarity on the couple's experience raising five children, reports the Arizona Republic. "I give all the credit to my wife," Keane said. "She was vital to any success that I had."