jan howard finder (“Wombat”), one of fandom’s great characters, died February 25 at 12:54 a.m. in Albany Medical Center Hospital CCU from renal and liver failure. He had been battling prostate cancer for several years.
Lin Daniel reports she and a friend were with jan when he died. “We probably had the hospital staff wondering about us, because we sat there and told stupid jan stories and laughed a lot.”
He was a conrunner, costumer and Tolkien fan. He toured New Zealand’s LoTR film locations in 2004 and 2006, and bent every effort to get Guillermo del Toro to agree to put him in The Hobbit when the director was still attached to the project.
Appropos of his nickname, jan’s best-known publishing project was Finder’s Guide To Australterrestrials, a 28-page collection of sketches of antipodean creatures done by sf and fan artists.
jan was a guest of honor at the 1993 Worldcon, ConFrancisco.
[Thanks to Michael J. Lowrey for the story.]
Update 02/26/2013: Corrected attribution of quote.