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Victims in Hernando shooting tied together by suspect's colorful sister

One colorful thread united the four women shot in a bloody Thursday afternoon in Brooksville: Kathryn Donovan.

Donovan, who used her maiden name of Kalisz in business, was an internationally renowned expert in the use of color and its affect on people.

Donovan, who was killed in the shooting, was known to family and friends as Kitty. She was the founder of Sci\ART Global, LLC, which provides state-of-the-art personal color analysis education and support, according to her company Web site.

She was an artist, colorist and writer and her book, Understanding Your Color — A Guide to Personal Color Analysis, is considered an essential reference by those in her field.

Donovan, 61, was born in St. Mary's, Pa. She moved here from Bristol, Conn., two years ago. She is survived by three daughters and a grandchild.

Kim Wagner of Homosassa, a longtime friend of Donovan, said she started taking color therapy lessons from her after meeting the artist 18 years ago. "She's a genius," she said.

Wagner described Donovan as a gentle soul who loved color and life.

"She wanted Freebird played at her funeral," Wagner said. "We even talked about stuff like that."

Jeff Webb, a communications consultant and Web content writer in Hernando County, helped Donovan market Sci\ART Global. He said that her business was thriving and that she was planning seminars in St. Petersburg.

"Kitty was an artist, but even more important, she was a teacher with an international reputation who wanted desperately to share her considerable talent with a new generation," Webb said. "… Kitty was a very positive, pleasant person and an extremely hard worker. She loved her children and loved her profession."

• • •

Deborah Buckley Tillotson, 59, had just started working as Donovan's office manager at the artist's home business on Wilhelm Road in recent months.

A retired insurance professional in St. Petersburg, she and Lee Tillotson bought a home and property on Old Chatman Road in rural northwest Hernando County on Christmas Day 2006, according to property records.

Tillotson was killed in the shooting.

• • •

Manessa Donovan, Kathryn Donovan's daughter, was seriously wounded. She was reported in stable condition Friday at Tampa General Hospital.

Manessa, 18, was pregnant at the time of the shooting. Her fetus reportedly was aborted during surgery Thursday night.

Manessa lived in the Wilhelm Road home and helped her mother in her business, friends say.

Meridith Maynard said that her brother, Joseph Maynard, is the boyfriend of Manessa's sister, Suzanna "Suzie" Greif of Spring Hill. Maynard has set up an account at the Brooksville branch of SunTrust bank to collect donations for the family.

• • •

Amy Wilson, 33, of 9539 Upland Drive, Hudson was also wounded in the attack. She was in stable condition Friday at Tampa General Hospital.

Wilson had just begun working for Donovan two weeks ago. She and her husband, Billy Green, have a 9-year-old son. Green said his wife was standing outside the house when the shooting started. She was struck in the abdomen and the shoulder.

On Friday, Hernando Sheriff Richard Nugent said investigators had interviewed her but her memory was affected because of her traumatic injuries.

Times staff writers Tony Marrero and Will Vragovic contributed to this report. Greg Hamilton can be reached at or at (352) 754-6113.

Victims in Hernando shooting tied together by suspect's colorful sister 01/15/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 15, 2010 11:13pm]
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