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Joe Mayhew, 1942 - 2000

(From Locus Magazine, July 2000. Gene Wolfe remembrance.)



Joe Mayhew, 57, Hugo-winning fan artist for 1998 and also nominee for the fan-artist Hugo in 1990, 1994, and 1996 through 2000, died June 10, 2000 at the Hospice of Washington, Washington DC, after years of medical problems and a month-long battle with what may have been Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, an uncommon variety of encephalitis related to Mad Cow Disease.

Joseph Thomas Mayhew was born August 20, 1942 in Washington DC. He joined the Washington Science Fiction Association while in his teens, along with other fans including Jack Chalker. Over the next 40 years, he was a WSFA officer, ran a number of East Coast conventions, and edited the WSFA Journal for a time.

In his other life, he attended the University of Maryland (MA English), the University of Waterloo in Kitchener ON Canada, and Mount St. Mary's in Thrumont, Maryland,where he studied theology. He worked for the Library of Congress for 26 years, mostly in Spanish Acquisitions. He also became Recommending Officer for SF arguably a fan's dream job. In his stint as Recommending Officer, he single-handedly changed how the Library viewed and catalogued SF.

After his retirement, he was able to devote more time to writing SF (with stories published in Tomorrow, Aberrations, and Aboriginal SF), reviewing for The Washington Post and others, and most notably fan art. Mayhew cartoons appeared in Asimov's, Analog, and Pirate Writings, as well as dozens of leading fanzines. He also did woodcarving and painting. His carved walking sticks and intricate castles were prized by fans at conventions.

Mayhew was a diabetic, had quadruple bypass heart surgery in 1996, and later suffered from tachycardia and a series of small strokes.

He is survived by older sister Francis Jordan, younger brother Bill, and their children.

His memorial service was scheduled for June 18 at St. Bernard in Riverdale, MD.


© 2000 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.