Jan Howard Finder, AKA “The Wombat” (1939-2013)

Editor, author, and fan Jan Howard Finder, AKA “The Wombat,” 73, died February 25, 2013 in an Albany NY hospital of complications related to cancer.

Finder was active in SF fandom and was well known as an expert on J.R.R. Tolkien, organizing the “First Conference on Middle-earth” in 1969, a second conference in 1971, and a third in 2011. He also organized tours of sites related to SF literature, most notably “Middle-earth” tours of New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings films were made. He was a frequent guest at conventions, a co-founder of Albacon, and served as chair for Albacon in 1996 and the SFRA conference in 2001. He edited fanzine The Spang Blah and anthology Alien Encounters (1982). He also wrote occasional short fiction.

Finder, known as “The Wombat” to friends, was born March 2, 1939 and grew up in Chicago. He attended Roosevelt University and the University of Chicago, studied academic administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and worked as a college administrator before retiring. In 2011 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

See the April issue of Locus for a complete obituary.