Jane Kilcher rose to fame after she married the Kilcher family, around whom the Discovery Channel show “Alaska: The Last Frontier” is focused. Originally a commercial fisherman, Jane retooled her skills to care for her immediate and extended family who live off the land and water. Known for their musical aptitude, with famed singer Jewel in the family circles, it’s not surprising that music played a huge part in Jane’s integration into the family. Since her marriage to Atz Lee Kilcher, she has proven to be adept at family life and is strongly family oriented.
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Early life and family
Christina Jane Kilcher (née Ferman) was born on September 14, 1974 in Alaska, USA, to Bob and Sarah Ferman. She has two siblings, Bobby Ferman and Jessica Browning, with whom she grew up. Jane spent the first 12 years of her life in Anchorage, Alaska, and did not move to Homer until 1986. While Jane enjoyed exploring the terrain of Alaska, she also had an aptitude and love for music that both her parents nurtured. Jane learned to play the cello, piano and guitar, not knowing that this would be the subject that would draw her to her future husband, Atz Lee.
Jane first Met Atz Lee when she was 12, after stumbling upon the Kilcher family farm, which was near her home at the time.
While she hasn’t revealed much about her education, Jane has mentioned that she was going to college. In addition, she also underwent extensive training in playing the piano, cello and guitar – pursuits that require a lot of dedication and commitment.
Jane Kilcher started her career in commercial fishing. Although she has long left this lifestyle, her year at sea allowed her to become familiar with the local marine life and customs, making her later transition to fishing a productive and beneficial one for her family.
Commercial fishing requires the boats’ crews to stay away from land for months, isolating them from family. Jane describes her life during this phase of her career as “surrounded by storms and men.”
With thousands from a large percentage of the world living off the advances that science has made, it’s not surprising that most people are fascinated by the idea of surviving off the land naturally. It’s exactly this photo that the Discovery Channel wanted to capture when they shot their show “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” centering on the extended Kilcher family, based out of their home in Homer, Alaska.
The Homestead was originally founded by the parents of Atz Kilcher, the family patriarch, when they emigrated from Switzerland to escape the Nazi regime. Atz’s parents were extremely lucky, as his father’s position as a Swiss diplomat paved their way into the US.
Today, the scripted docuseries shows the way the Kilcher family farms, hunts and prepares for winter, without access to modern heating or other basic amenities. Jane’s role on the show, and in the family, is to provide a steady supply of seafood for the family, and build stores that will last through the winter. Jane has faced a lot of controversy on the show for not letting her children appear on the show and facing the public with various accusations about the family.
Jane is forced to face body shaming and malice over her marriage and family life. However, she is not afraid of her treatment and has raised these allegations on several occasions. Jane took to Facebook to address the audience and posted that “People are saying” terrible comments about my weight, my appearance, my character, my marriage … all because we opened our lives to television … showing you amazing things our family does. She also talked about her husband’s difficult recovery after he broke 26 bones, and the subsequent lawsuit.
Jane was originally married to another Alaskan, Dicran Kassouni.
The two had a daughter together, Piper Isolde Kassouni, on June 4, 2003, but their marriage was unsuccessful and the two divorced. At the same time, Atz Lee Kilcher was married to Nantia Krisintu, with whom he had a son, Etienne Kilcher, on May 12, 2001. Unfortunately, their relationship also fell apart and they divorced.
While this was initially devastating for both couples, Jane and Atz Lee’s love for musicals and their aptitude brought them together, and they eventually married at The Head of The Bay in 2006. The couple had a particularly tough time after Atz Lee injured himself while hiking, a devastating fall that not only broke 26 bones but also punctured both his lungs.
During the long road back to recovery, Jane stayed by his side, tending to his injuries. To thank her for all she’s done for him, Atz arranged a wedding reenactment ceremony in 2016, with the two renewing their wedding vows.
Although the two have no biological children, Jane played a pioneering role in raising both Piper and Etienne, investing herself in their lives and making sure the best decisions were made for them. Jane and Atz Lee made sure that their children’s privacy was preserved, going so far as to reveal little about the children’s lives in order to preserve their anonymity.
Despite the constant barrage of body shaming Jane has faced, she is a size 8 and an attractive woman.
She has brown eyes and dark hair that she keeps practically shoulder length. There is much speculation that she has lost a lot of weight lately, but she has not commented on the topic as she is clearly fit and well able to support herself through the harsh Alaskan climate.
Despite what life on a farm is like, the Kilcher family as a whole is quite wealthy. It is for this reason that the show receives a lot of criticism. The show’s focus on the looming danger of famine and scarcity of supplies is heavily dramatized. While many people actually live the lives portrayed in the show, the Kilcher’s have plenty of money to manage if things go wrong. Jane Kilcher and her husband receive significant salaries from Discovery Channel and have an estimated net worth of $2 million as of mid-2020.
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