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Jean Thesman

1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Jean Thesman Obituary
Jean Thesman,

Author, Dies at 86

Jean Elaine Thesman, Seattle born author, died on Thursday January

21, 2016 in Lynnwood following a short illness. She was 86.

Jean Elaine Thesman was born in Seattle on May 8, 1929, the daughter of William Schillreff and the former Verna Perkins. Her father was a superintendent at what later became Washington Natural Gas. Jean grew up in Seattle, living in the Georgetown and, later, the Ballard neighborhoods. She graduated from Lincoln High School and attended the University of Washington, majoring in English.

She married Robert Eugene Thesman in 1960. They lived in Lake Forest Park where they raised their three children, and, later on Bothell, surrounded by their beloved pets.

Jean began writing fiction in the early 1980s, capturing the minds of young readers with books featuring strong female characters. Her first book, New Kid In Town, was published in 1984, beginning a string of forty-three books, writing under her own name as well as the pseudonym T. J. Bradstreet. Her books won numerous awards, including the Golden Kite (awarded by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) for The Rain Catchers (1992); a NY Public Library Book Award for The Ornament Tree (1996); an American Library Association Notable Book Award for Rachel Chance (1990) and for When The Road Ends (1992); an American Library Association Best Book For Young Adults Award for The Other Ones (1999); and a number of other awards for other books. Her last book, published in 2005, was Singer. She was a long-time member of The Authors Guild and the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.

Her husband died in 2005.

She is survived by her children Rob Thesman (Marci Flanery) of Lopez Island, Dana Zahn (Kevin) of Issaquah, and Rebecca Smith (Gary) of Lynnwood, as well as her grandchildren Ken, Nathan, and Josh, whom she loved intensely.

At Jean's request, there was no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, remembrances to the animal charities Old Dog Haven or Pasado's Safe Haven.

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Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 31, 2016
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