Jane Kilcher rose to stardom after she married into the Kilcher family, around whom the Discovery Channel show “Alaska: The Last Frontier” is focused. Originally a commercial fisherman, Jane refocused her skills to provide for her direct and extended family who live off the land and water. Being renowned for their musical aptitude, with the famed singer Jewel amongst the family ranks, it is unsurprising that music played a large role in Jane’s integration into the family. Since her marriage to Atz Lee Kilcher, she has proven to be adept at the family’s homestead life, and is strongly family orientated.
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Early Life and Family
Christina Jane Kilcher (nee Ferman) was born on 14 September 1974, in Alaska, USA to Bob and Sarah Ferman. She has two siblings, Bobby Ferman and Jessica Browning, with whom she was raised. Jane spent the first 12 years of her life in Anchorage, Alaska, only moving to Homer in 1986. Although Jane enjoyed exploring the Alaskan terrain, she also had an aptitude and love for music that both her parents nurtured. Jane learned to play the cello, piano and guitar, unaware that these would be this subject that would draw her to her future husband, Atz Lee.
Jane first met Atz Lee when she was 12, after stumbling onto the Kilcher family homestead, which was located nearby her home at the time.
Although she has not revealed much about her education, Jane has shared that she did attend college. In addition she also underwent extensive training in playing the piano, cello and guitar – pursuits that require much dedication and commitment.
Jane Kilcher began her career in commercial fishing. Although she has long since abandoned this lifestyle, her year spent out at sea allowed her to familiarise herself with the local sea life and their habits, making her later transition to fishing for her family a productive and beneficial transition.
Commercial fishing requires the crew of the boats to remain away from land for months at a time, isolating them from family. Jane describes her life during this stage in her career as being “surrounded by storms and men.”
With thousands of a large percentage of the world subsisting on the progress that science has wrought, it is unsurprising that most people are enthralled by the idea of subsisting off the land through natural means. It is exactly this picture that Discovery Channel wished to capture when they created their show “Alaska: The Last Frontier”, focused on the extended Kilcher family, based on their homestead in Homer, Alaska.
The Homestead was originally established by the parents of Atz Kilcher, the patriarch of the family, when they immigrated 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 to enter the US.
Today, the scripted docuseries shows the way in which the Kilcher family farm, hunt and prepare for winter, with no 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, as well as to build up stores to last the winter. Jane has faced many controversies on the show for disallowing her children to appear on the show, and confronting the public about various accusations made about the family.
Jane has been forced to face body shaming and malignance about her marriage and family life. However, she isn’t cowed by her treatment and has addressed these accusations on various occasions. Jane took to Facebook to address the public, posting that “People say horrible comments on my weight, my looks, my character, my marriage… all because we opened up our lives for television… showing you amazing things our family does.” She also talked about her husband’s difficult recovery after he broke 26 bones, and the ensuing court case.
Jane was originally married to another Alaskan, Dicran Kassouni.
The two had a daughter together, Piper Isolde Kassouni, on 4 June 2003, but their marriage was unsuccessful and the two divorced, Concurrently, Atz Lee Kilcher was married to Nantia Krisintu, with whom he had a son, Etienne Kilcher, on 12 May 2001. Unfortunately, their relation also didn’t pan out and they divorced.
Although this was initially devastating to both couples, Jane and Atz Lee’s love of musical and their aptitude drew them together, and they eventually married in 2006 at The Head of The Bay. The couple had a particularly difficult time after Atz Lee injured himself while hiking, a devastating fall that not only broke 26 bones but punctured both his lungs.
Through the long road back to recovery, Jane remained by his side, ministering to his injuries. To thank her for all she has done for him, in 2016 Atz arranged for a ceremony re-enacting their wedding, during which the two renewed their marriage vows.
Although the two do not share any biological children, Jane has played a seminal role in raising both Piper and Etienne, investing herself into their lives and making sure that the best decisions were made for them. Jane and Atz Lee were careful to maintain the privacy of their children, even going so far as to reveal little about the children’s lives, to maintain their anonymity.
Despite the constant barrage of body shaming that Jane has faced, she is a size 8 and an attractive woman.
She has brown eyes and dark hair that she keeps at a practical shoulder length. There is much speculation that she has recently lost a lot of weight, but she has offered no comment on the subject, as she is clearly fit and very able to sustain herself through the harsh Alaskan climate.
Despite what a homestead life may imply, the Kilcher family as a whole is quite wealthy. It is for this reason that the show faces much criticism. The focus of the show on the imminent danger of starvation and scarcity of supplies is very much dramatized. While many people truly do live the life depicted in the show, the Kilcher’s have sufficient funds to manage should anything actually go wrong. Jane Kilcher and her husband receive considerable salaries from the Discovery Channel, and as of mid-2020, have an estimated net worth of $2 million.