- Deceased's name: William Thomas Kinkade III
- Age: 54
- Date: April 6, 2012
The service was held under a majestic canopy of towering redwood trees overlooking a serene lake at Nestldown, Los Gatos, California.
Remembrances of Thom were given by wife Nanette Kinkade, daughters Merritt, Chandler, Winsor, Evie Kinkade, brother Patrick Kinkade, sister Kate Johnson, sister-in-law Suzanne Moore, and long time family friends and former partners, Ken and Linda Raasch.
Thom’s close friends and family gathered to remember a life that was as colorful as it was meaningful. Blue skies and full sunshine provided comforting beauty in a time of sadness.
The spreading lawns, surrounded by hundreds of blooming tulips and sunlit trees, made those in attendance imagine they were part of a Thomas Kinkade painting.
Guests dined on some of Thom’s favorite foods and listened to some of his favorite music - all selections chosen by Thom’s daughters to honor their father.
A family photo video played in a barn-like setting and on display was the painting last seen on Thom’s easel.
Lemonade was served along side a child-sized cottage—constructed years ago after the owners of Nestldown were inspired by one of Thom’s earlier paintings, Merritt’s Cottage.
Truly, it was a day that even Thom would have wanted to capture on canvas.
He shall be missed immeasurably by so many that loved him.
Thom was buried later that day surrounded by immediate family in Saratoga, California.
William Thomas Kinkade III, was born in Sacramento, California, Jan. 19, 1958, to parents Mary Ann and William Thomas Kinkade, Jr.
He spent his growing up years in Placerville, California, with his mother, older sister, Kate (Johnson), and brother, Patrick Kinkade.
Early in his youth, Thom showed artistic talent and was fortunate to find mentors in artists, Charles Bell and Glenn Wessels, who encouraged his talent.
He graduated from El Dorado High School in 1976 and attended University of California, Berkeley, and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, 1976-80.
After college, Thom created background art while working on the film, Fire and Ice, and then began earning a living selling his originals in galleries throughout California.
Thom believed that both the ability and the inspiration to create his paintings had been given to him as a gift. His goal as an artist was to touch people of all faiths and to bring peace and joy into their lives through the images he had created.
In so doing, it is our belief that his serene and tranquil artwork brought him peace and joy in his life as well.
He, along with business partner, Ken Raasch, formed Lightpost Publishing in 1989, which pioneered the building of the Thomas Kinkade brand which to date globally has generated more than $4 billion dollars in retail sales.
In 1982, Thom married his childhood sweetheart, Nanette, and together they had four beautiful daughters - Merritt, Chandler, Winsor and Everett.
Undoubtedly, his most valuable works of art are his children. Family adventures and travels were a priority each year and these precious memories shall happily live on with those who loved him.
Thom will be greatly missed for his creativity, intelligence, complexity, humor, and his adventuresome nature, but he will be mostly missed in his role of “Dad.”
In lieu of flowers, the Kinkade family asked that donations be given in Thom’s name to World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide. (Account #105429515. http://www.worldvision.org).
Editor's Note: This obituary was submitted to Los Gatos Patch for publishing by close family friend Linda Raasch, a Los Gatos resident and wife of the late painter's former partner, Ken Raasch.