Bobbie DuFault Dies

Bobbie DuFault

Bobbie DuFault

Sad news: Bobbie DuFault, co-chair of Sasquan, the 2015 World Science Fiction Convention, passed away from unknown causes this morning, September 14.

Glenn Glazer of the committee asks, “Please respect the families’ wishes to not be contacted at this time.”

Life is far more important than fanac, of course, but it’s hard not to think of all the years Bobbie spent trying to win a Worldcon bid — and finally did just two weeks ago.

Seattle fandom endured two heart-wrenching experiences of having its 2002 and 2011 Worldcon bids collapse due to loss of facilities. Despite that, many veterans of those bids signed on for the Spokane in 2015 campaign which finally broke the curse. Bobbie DuFault would have co-chaired the Sasquan with Sally Woehrle.

Bobbie became active in fandom in 1981, first as a con attendee, then as a volunteer doing live video for Seattle area conventions.

Eventually Bobbie chaired Rustycon and C-Cubed, the Pacific Northwest conrunning convention, both multiple times. She chaired the 2005 NASFiC, CascadiaCon, and the 2012 Westercon in Seattle. She ran the Program Division for Chicon 7, the 2012 Worldcon. By her estimate, she worked on more than 150 conventions.

Her organizational memberships included Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Inc., the Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee, the Northwest Science Fiction Society, NW Club League (co-chair 1995-1998) and the NW Con League.

Bobbie was Fan GoH at Baycon in 2011.

She was a technical writer by profession.

She was proud of her work with the Reading for the Future program which promotes the use of SF and fantasy in the classroom. She was on the board of trustees and maintained the group’s website —

She lived with her husband, Jerry Gieseke, in the country with their children and grandson.

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28 thoughts on “Bobbie DuFault Dies

  1. Less known is all her work with young people at risk. I have never known such a selfless person, ever. I will miss her.

  2. Thank you Bobbie,
    You were one the few that always gave my wife a chance when others could no longer stand her. And now the two of you are together again in the afterlife and in the stars we will all be looking up toward.

    Find peace.

  3. So sorry to hear. I may have met her over the years. The Lord knows I’ve attended and worked at enough conventions, and some of those listed above were ones I was at.

    My condolences to her family and friends.

  4. Bobbie is in a wonderful and amazing place now, better than any of us could ever dream of. It is for those who remain behind, that will for this short time be left to miss her, and note her absence.

    Sending hugs, peace and comforting thoughts to Jerry and family.

  5. It is with a heavy heart we say good bye to one of our own. Bobbie was my mentor and dear friend. I was sitting between her and Sally when the call came that we won the Worldcon for 2015. She worked so hard for it to happen. She was loved and admired by many far and wide. Raise a glass, say a toast and remember her passion for that is what she would have wanted.

    Dawn Chronister
    RustyCon 31 Programming Exec

  6. This was very sad news. We can glad she had the chance to savor finally winning the Worldcon bid, but this will be a very, very hard thing for her family, loved ones, friends, and the folks at Sasquan. Condolences and best wishes to them all for their loss.

  7. Bobbie, you were one of my original fandom friends and you were always there for me. Your presence will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved you and by the fannish community as a whole. You were a creative force and first and foremost always a friend. Im at a loss. Love to Jerry and the family. Godspeed, Bobbie, may the wind be at your back. Much love. I will miss you 🙁

  8. Bobbie opened my eyes to the wider world of fandom. I marveled at her expertise and enjoyed spending time with her. Fen who never knew how hard she worked for them will feel her absence for a long time to come.

    I’ll miss you, Bobbie.

  9. I was very sad to hear this. I have known her for years as key part of the fandom community, and her presence will be missed by me and many, many others. My condolences to her family and close friends

  10. BD was a true friend. Thruout the 2000s when my mild yet chronic mental illness became irritatingly obvious she was one of the few who accepted and worked around the deficits—THANK YOU Bobbie! My one condolence is that as a believer in the the Cosmic Landscape interpretation of M Theory we can be sure that somewhen in the multiverse she is still around savoring the victory of a Pacific Northwest bid for WorldCon. I hope that quite a few PGGBs will be raised in her memory at the Cons to come…

  11. Bobbie was the chair of so many cons during the time I was active that I thought she was the chair of all of them. Always a fair minded and big hearted person whom I enjoyed working with and joking with.

    I’m sorry I’ve lost contact with most of the con goers and runners that I knew over the years as my career has now taking me to Thailand and China. Know that you all are in my thoughts and my heart still.

    Love to Jerry, and all of Bobbie’s family, both by blood and by her own choice. I feel like I’ve lost a big sister…

    -Escher (Westercon99, Moscon97,98, Rustycon99,00)

  12. I did not know Bobbie that well in real life. But I can attest to the fact that she was a patron of the arts within the online community. She sponsored the virtual Moulin Rouge in SecondLife(tm) that gave life to performing arts within virtual worlds. She will be dearly missed by many like myself, who knew her only virtually, but still could see she had a heart of gold.

  13. Bobbie created a wonderful place, the Moulin Rouge in Second Life®. This was a place where fantasy became reality for many of us. As a sometime member of the chorus I love, live and laughed in the in an artistic experience I could only dream of in my first life. Bobbie you are already missed and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for opening up a portal to a 19th music hall experience that was both real and exciting to my heart!


  14. This breaks my heart so deeply for her family and friends. She and I were friends for nearly 20 years and have not seen much of each other in the recent years. She was a woman with many remarkable strengths which helped her overcome many trials in her life. She had opened her home and heart to so many and her passing will leave a huge hole in all our universes. She performed our wedding ceremony so with each anniversery we will celebrate that day in her honor. We will miss you Bobbie and I know we will meet again..

  15. My mother was a driven and caring woman. When she started bringing me along to con in the mid 90s she introduced me to the support system she would eventually leave me with. You people who love her, have been the life preserver that has kept me above the water of this chaotic sea of pain and sorrow. Con will never be the same without her, neither will life in general I guess.

  16. How sad. Didn’t know the lady but one has to consider: she achieved her dream of a World Con bid. Getting a dream to happen before we die isn’t given to all of us. Hope they find a reason why this sad event happened.

  17. This is too devastating for words. I’m beside myself. Just a few days ago Bobbie and I were making plans to get together for a friend catch-up dinner and now I’ll never see her again. I’ll never be able to translate my message of congratulations into hug. Bobbie’s boundless positivity, openness, optimism and welcoming nature are a much bigger loss to this community than many realize. I remember when KIM died, many years ago now, and Vincent described her as a force for good in this world, and how much that resonated with me. I can think of no better description for Bobbie than she was a force for good in this world and I will miss her so very, very much.

  18. I am deeply saddened. I knew Bobbie from many cons, and was always happy to see her and help at cons she ran – they were a joy with few of the problems because she planned things so well. My condolences to her family and NW fandom.

    One of my Denver Worldcon memories was the 2011 Seattle vs Reno bids had suites across from each other. Even though they were competing, they shared party supplies and Bobbie and Patty Wells kept things at a very friendly level – their goals were *for* the fans, not *against* each other. A great role model for fandom.

  19. Bobbie was one of the folks I always looked forward to seeing at cons. I always enjoyed hanging with her and the rest of the Seattle folks.

    I first really got to know her while working on the Bay Area in 2002 bid through competing with (yes, I said *with*, not *against*) the Seattle bid, and have many fond memories of sharing supplies at neighboring parties.

    Like everyone else, I’m glad she at least got to savor winning the Sasquan bid. It’s a shame she won’t get to co-chair and then attend “old farts” parties in perpetuity.

  20. Bobbie was an extraordinary individual with a depth of character and integrity that is far too rare in this world we live in. I’ll miss her gentle and not so gentle ways more the I can express.

  21. This is a terrible loss for RFF, for the Northwest science fiction community, and for science fiction in general. My condolences to her family, friends and her worldcon committee. One thinks of Moses on the mount, or Willey Ley before the moon landing. It should not be this way. But let us be thankful she was with us as long as she was.

  22. Hard to take. Worked with her so often. Hugged a lot. Oddly, this reminds me of William Boeing. He started so much, worked so hard, saw so much success and trouble. His last plane flight was on the Dash 80, the prototype of the company’s revolutionary new jet airliner. Then, a few weeks later, he died, but he got to see the future unfold. He knew what his company had accomplished. Bobbie went out a winner.

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