jan howard finder (1939-2013)

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.

“Leadbeater’s Possum,” by Katherine Wadey for Finder’s Guide To Australterrestrials.

8 thoughts on “jan howard finder (1939-2013)

  1. Trying to find out about Howard’s services. Does anyone know when the services are.

    Thanks,

    John

  2. From Lin Daniel on Facebook:
    “jan wished to be cremated. And he wanted me to sit shiva for him, which I will. I’m planning on a memorial service in a couple of months, to allow as many people who can make it to do so. The pastor at the hospital told me a great story of a young man who flew C5s and also Cessnas. The young man crashed the Cessna and was killed. His C5 buddies took his ashes with them and scattered his ashes in the various places they went, recording the event. I thought that would be a good thing to do with jan’s ashes, spreading them all over the world.”

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