TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Katherine Carter Sharkey Schlosser, known to her friends and family as Kay Sharkey, passed away from Alzheimer's disease on Dec. 21, 2003, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Born on June 3, 1924, in Chicago, Ill., she grew up in West Hartford, Conn., with her parents, Myrtle Leenhouts Carter and William Simpson Carter, and her younger brother, David S. Carter, and sister, Ellie Carter Higgins. As a child, Kay exhibited a remarkable gift for painting and drawing, which became a passion of hers throughout the rest of her life. After completing William Hall High School, she attended Syracuse University where she joined Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. She received her bachelor's degree in fine arts, cum laude, and master's of fine arts from Syracuse University. During World War II, Kay served for two years in active duty as a Navy Wave Aviation Machinist Mate Third Class in Brownsville, Texas.
She was married to Thomas Sharkey of Syracuse, N.Y., from 1948 to 1974. They had five children, Karen Sharkey Flaherty, Thomas Carter Sharkey, Jeffrey Brian Sharkey, Maureen Teresa Sharkey and Michael Peter Sharkey. The family lived in Minneapolis, Minn., and Philadelphia, Pa. She was later married to Don Schlosser of Edina, Minn., from 1976-1995 and resided in Crosslake, Minn.
Kay was a nationally recognized watercolor artist, painting landscapes and seascapes that won numerous awards and accolades. She painted over 1,500 watercolors, many of which are owned by galleries and private collectors. She is the recipient of numerous national and regional awards and distinctions for her beautiful and delicate watercolors of autumn landscapes and scenic seascapes. Kay Sharkey's hand-painted watercolor Christmas cards are still highly valued collector's items for friends and artists nationally. Kay's greatest gift was the gift of teaching watercolor painting. For over 50 years, she taught adult students the beauty and magic of watercolors. She inspired hundreds of men and women to bring out their creative spirit through this medium of painting. Kay's remarkable ability to see and share with her students the world of light and shadow, of colors and hues, gave her a lifelong following of friends who credit her with enriching their lives through art and creative self expression.
Kay moved to Tallahassee from Minnesota in 1997 to live close to her children. She was a caring and wonderful mother and friend, giving of herself to all around her. She is preceded in death by her parents; brother, David Carter; and her daughter, Karen Flaherty Sharkey. She is survived by Thomas C. Sharkey of Papaikou Hawaii, Jeffrey Brian Sharkey of Tallahassee, Fla., Maureen Teresa Sharkey of Columbus, Ohio, and Michael P. Sharkey of Great Falls, Va.
A memorial ceremony in Summertown, Tenn., will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers or donations, Kay would appreciate your support for the arts and artists.
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