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Jean Sartor

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Mrs. Jean Sartor

SHREVEPORT, LA - Jean Oliver Sartor, an award winning multimedia artist and long term Shreveport resident died Saturday after a brief illness. Jean was a multitalented, colorful and vibrant individual who was integrally engaged in many Northwest Louisiana activities, including leadership positions in the local art, gardening, equestrian, theatrical and Cotillion communities. Born in Baltimore, MD Aug. 1, 1918 to Elisabeth Paxton and Herbert Dean Oliver, she grew up in Atlanta, GA, and with her horse "Cheerleader" attended Sweet Briar College, Amherst, VA, where she met her husband of 67 years, Alton Sartor. After moving to Shreveport as a newlywed in 1940, she worked during WWII, as an artillery shell inspector at JB Beaird Co. to contribute to the war effort while Alton was overseas for 4 years. During her college years and early married life she consistently placed in regional equestrian competitions.

As a third generation artist, she pursued a lifelong interest in painting, collage and flower arranging, evolving her works from realistic landscapes to being a regional pioneer in non-representational art that received multiple awards in juried exhibits in each medium. She was a prize winner and frequent exhibitor in the International Society of Experimental Artists, an especially prestigious accomplishment for a Southern artist. She was recently recognized as a founding member of the Hoover Water Color Society and had a solo retrospective exhibit at the Meadows Museum of Art. She was influential in the founding of the Barnwell Arts Center and has been an officer or board member of the Barnwell Center, Friends of the Meadows Museum, Hoover Watercolor society, Horticultural Society, Hemerocallis Society, and was inducted into the Shreveport Visual Arts Hall of Fame. In addition to her own artistic creations, she accumulated an eclectic collection of paintings. These were highlighted by paintings of her very talented mother, Elisabeth Paxton Oliver. In addition she acquired paintings and sculptures from her colleagues as well as artifacts from her travels, which included numerous camera safaris to Kenya. Her self-designed home became a museum for these mementos, which, although an impediment to walking the hall, are an endless source of memories and elicit detailed stories regarding their origins.

Her love of nature, horticulture and wildlife is integrated into the oasis surrounding her home in a virgin pine forest where she spent countless hours watching antics of birds and squirrels on feeders, grafting camellias, planting bulbs and flowering trees and building a fountain from rocks she carefully chose in the Ozarks. In addition to creating a haven for wildlife, she adopted any stray dog or cat fortunate enough to wander to her door, leading to her family designation as Mother Theresa for animals. Unknown snakes were captured for proper identification to prevent a "good" snake from being killed. Concurrent with her artistic, horticulture and naturalist interests, Jean actively participated in many Shreveport cultural events, particularly the Cotillion, where she served as Chairperson of the Ball, was the "forgotten woman" to Rex XL and was mother of the queen. In addition, she was active in the Shreveport Little Theater, Junior League, Iris Club, DAR and Women's Department Club. Jean loved life, had a ready smile and cheery greeting for all, and was an engaging conversationalist. She was energized by traveling, visiting family and friends, and returning to her family roots in the mountains of Rockbridge County, VA.

Jean is survived by her husband of 67 years, E. Alton Sartor, Jr.; her children Elisabeth Harden from Port Royal, SC, Dr. Balfour Sartor, Chapel Hill, NC, Dr. Oliver Sartor, New Orleans, LA, and Jean Hillman, Murfreesboro, TN; and grandchildren Ryan Sartor, Vancouver, BC, Emily Patterson, Durham, NC, Alton Sartor, New Orleans, LA, Abby Sartor, New Orleans, LA and Evan Hillman, Murfreesboro, TN.

Services honoring Jean will be held at Noel Memorial United Methodist Church at 11 am Tuesday July 31st, followed by a family graveside service at Forest Park Cemetery St Vincent Avenue. Family will receive friends 5-7 pm Monday July 30th at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Marshall Street.

Pallbearers will be Ralph Richardson, John Hillman, Stacy Williams, Joe Averett, Rob King and her grandsons, Ryan Sartor, Alton Sartor and Evan Hillman. Honorary pallbearers will be Lane Sartor, Dayton Waller, Shelby Smith and Delton Harrison.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Friends of the Meadows Museum, Humane Society of the United States, of which her father was a national president, and Noel Memorial Methodist Church. Rose-Neath Funeral Home, Marshall Street Chapel 222-0348
Published in Shreveport Times on July 30, 2007
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