It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that one of our beloved CC members Rylan, Jene (Rylan Ty) Nato, tragically passed away yesterday evening. Jene embodied the spirit of this community with his exuberance and passion for the sugar arts. He had a natural eye for design and art well beyond his young years, but as tremendous as his talent was, it was eclipsed by his humility and heart. Jene was an incredibly giving person and always tried to share the joy he found in cake. He was one of the sweetest and gentlest souls I have had the great pleasure of getting to know through CakeCentral.com, and he will be deeply missed.
Jene was a kind and caring friend to me. When I lost my Uncle Rod, with whom I shared a deep connection, in July 2010, Jene surprised me with a beautiful gift by creating a “Now and Then” cake, making a modern interpretation of the cake in my Uncle’s decades-old wedding photo. Despite being already busy creating cakes for Martha Stewart magazine, Cake Central Magazine and the San Diego ICES convention, Jene not only found the time but was delighted to create this amazing memorial for me and all of my family members. I was so moved by his thoughtful gift that it still brings tears of joy each time retelling the story. His efforts gave me some brightness during a difficult moment in my life.
Jene’s generous nature has left an indelible and positive mark on the cake industry. He led the way, showing that the cake decorating community could be inclusive, kind, giving and creative. Jene’s influence will not be forgotten, and he will live on in the memories of all of the people he has touched.
You can read more about Jene Nato’s amazing talents here, and we have also made Jene’s cover cake issue of Cake Central Magazine, issue one of volume three, free to download, so that we can all share in his memory.