"Family Circus" Mommy Dies at 82

5/26/2008 10:03 AM PDT
The Mommy of "Family Circus" -- the kindly woman who was the mother of four rambunctious rugrats in every paper across the country -- and for millions of other kids all over the country, has passed away.

Thelma Keane, the inspiration for Mommy and the wife of the comic strip's creator, Bil Keane, died of Alzheimer's disease on Friday. Her husband's strip appears in 1,500 newspapers across the country.

"When the cartoon first appeared," said her husband, "she looked so much like Mommy that if she was in the supermarket pushing her cart around, people would come up to her and say, 'Aren't you the Mommy in 'Family Circus'?"