Fred Patten was born in Los Angeles, California on December 11, 1940. By the time he was ten years old, he'd become interested in science fiction and had started to collect SF books and magazines. From 1958 to 1963 he attended UCLA, where he graduated with a master's degree in Library Science. During his university years, he discovered science fiction fandom, joined the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), and started to write for fanzines.
In the 1970s, Fred became a partner in a bookstore in Long Beach, and also developed an interest in manga and anime from Japan. In 1977, along with Mark Merlino and others, Fred was one of the founding members of North America's first anime fan club, the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization. Partially through the C/FO, he and Mark expanded their mutual interest in animals in cartoons and science-fiction, which was a major step in the early evolution of furry fandom. A lot people aren't aware that in North America, both anime and furry fandoms share an originating root!
There is a balding man with glasses, standing in the corner, cradling a book against his stomach, reading. You saw him a lot. At the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society meeting hall, the APA collation room, in the library, at science fiction conventions in function rooms and room parties, at San Diego Comic Con in the Rowrbrazzle contributor parties, at furry parties.
His name is Fred Patten, and was in no way the passive participant he seemed. With a partner he opened a book shop in Long Beach, California that not only carried SF and Fantasy books, but comics from all over the world. He reviewed SF and Fantasy literature for fan and professional publications. His apartment was literally wall-to-wall books. He collected SF/F art, storing paintings in his bed frame. I don't think anyone knew where he slept... or if he did.
I'm sorry to report that Vicky Wyman passed away on August 3, 2018. According to a post by Defenbaugh on Fur Affinity, she'd recently found out that she had a very bad case of intestinal cancer. After an attempted surgery failed to improve her prospects, she made the choice to let go. She was in her 60s.
I'm not really qualified to write an obituary about Vicky Wyman, so if there are details and memories you'd like to share, please post a comment! I can update this article as necessary. What follows is some history with personal reflections.
Sad news has come to the web journal of the furry convention Fur 'the More. Their most recent announcement tells of the passing of Cobalt the Fox (David Gonce) last Friday (October 6), due to a heart attack. The fox's final tweet indicated he had felt particularly ill.
This dedicated staffer worked in the security group, known as the Rangers, for the Baltimore area furry convention. He also had the opportunity to MC for their furry dance competition.
The blessings of the staff, and their sorrow over the loss speaks volumes for Colbalt's contributions to the fandom he loved.
I have met and talked to so many people and in all my life i have not met anyone who isn't special and unique.
— I'm Cobalt! (@Cobalt_The_Fox) July 13, 2017
On June 6th, 2017, on a bridge in Charleston, South Carolina a furry who went by the fursona name Xzavior Wolf died during a car accident. After the initial crash, he had left the car and as a result was crushed between vehicles due to another vehicle hitting the current wreckage.
The incident is a stark reminder of the fragility of life, and that it can be taken in an instant. It is usually during these times that we reflect upon their life, and celebrate what they brought to the table. However, this is where things get a bit awkward and complicated. For the one who had lost their life that night happened to be a part of an infamous organization within the fandom that had ties with the closure of a convention a few months prior and reworked Nazi symbology.
Xzavior, was indeed, a member of the Furry Raiders. And so when the news of their death was confirmed by the group on Twitter, the reactions were as divided and controversial as the organization in which he was affiliated.
Fans of furry web comics mourned at news of the passing of Albert Temple arrived this month. This prolific creator maintained a consistently-updated web comic for over 16 years, from July 2000 all the way up to his death in March. This web serial comic, Gene Catlow, delved into the lives of a pair of experienced and respected computer technicians and their many strange adventures.
The two main characters were Gene Catalow (the author's fursona) and his rabbit friend Cotton. The first story arc revolved around Cotton finding a special coffee that unlocked superpowers within him. He's torn away from his normal life as a technician to begin thwarting assassination attempts against an ambassador being held in safe harbor in their anthropomorphic city.
Through the interactions of these characters you learn of a world of political intrigue, where human beings and anthro animals had their own cultural boundaries. Albert did a great job in making it so that you were never fed this in exposition dumps, but instead were purely arrived at through the interaction of the comic's characters.
On Janurary 13, Equino Faukland, a friend of Spike Niko, posted about the passing of the founder of Rainbow Tiger to the club's group:
Hello my friends from Rainbow Tiger. I wish I was coming to you with something other than bad news, but with a heavy heart I must inform you that yesterday Spike Nico, the Boss Pony of the Rainbow Tiger passed away. Some of you might know that Spike was sick back in June with some lung issues and was in pretty bad shape. However, always the fighter Spike pulled through and was in full recovery. However his illness resurfaced this winter with a vengeance. He died in his bed yesterday from complications of his illness.
There have been many articles speaking to the harshness and cruelty of the year 2016. This time in history has been seen in such a negative light that people have gone so far as to make horror trailer parodies of the year itself. Barring the turbulent political results in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, many celebrities who brought forth stories of endearment and inspired a generation passed on this year.
But just like you this year the furry fandom has been filled with reminders of our own mortality and that while some may try and use the fandom as an escape from these very realities, death and political strife caused by our interactions have made themselves apparent this year more than any in recent memory.
Brian Bedford, an English-born actor best known to furs as the voice of the titular character in Disney's Robin Hood, passed away January 13, 2016, due to cancer in Santa Barbera, California. He was 80.
Bedford was born in Morley, UK on February 16, 1935. Primarily a stage actor, known for his work on Broadway, he made his Broadway debut in 1959, in the play Five Finger Exercise, directed by John Gielgud. In 1971, he won a Tony Award for his role in The School for Wives. He would gain an additional six Tony nominations; the most recent coming for his last stage role, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. He also appeared in many TV and film roles, though his vocal role as the vulpine Robin Hood is his best known.
Bedford is survived by his husband, Tim MacDonald.
Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.
One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.
Over the past few days two gentlemen passed away. Two gentlemen with very different but both very interesting connections to furry fandom. Stan Freberg, 88, was a man who “wore so many different hats throughout his career that he may as well have been a hat-maker. Satirist, songwriter, comedian, commercial producer, recording artist, actor, puppeteer, and voice artist only scratch the surface.” Among the myriad of voices he created some of the most memorable might be Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent (in both the puppet and animated versions of Beany & Cecil), the beaver in Disney’s Lady & the Tramp, and (from a very young age) Junior Bear, the lunk-headed young son of short-tempered Papa Bear in a series of cartoons by Chuck Jones. (“C-A-T, dog… D-O-G, Rhode Island…”). Meanwhile Bob Walker also passed away, at the age of 54, apparently from a heart condition. Mr. Walker will best be remembered as co-director (with Aaron Blaise) of Disney’s 2003 2D animated film Brother Bear, but prior to that he had worked as a layout artist on numerous Disney animated projects including Rescuers Down Under (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Mulan (1998), and Lilo & Stitch (2002). A native of Canada, Mr. Walker started his career working for Nelvana Animation on TV shows like The Raccoons. [Thanks to Cartoon Brew for providing this info.]
It is with great sadness that I must report on the passing of one of the giants of the voice-acting world.
Christine Cavanaugh passed away on December 22, 2014 at the young age of 51. She is perhaps best-remembered as the voice actress of (in no particular order) Babe, Dexter (Dexter's Lab), Bunnie Rabbot (Sonic the Hedgehog), Chuckie Finster (Rugrats), Oblina (Aaahh!!! Real Monsters) and Goslyn Mallard (Darkwing Duck, Raw Toonage).
While her voiceography is not as long as other veteran voice actors and actresses, she more than made up for it with quality acting and defining fan-favourite characters, bringing them memorable personalities that lasted long after their shows completed their runs.
Colin maintained several furry websites, including furry.org.nz and the NZfurry mailing list, and (as Nicol Firefox) furry image and story archive Cub Central. He featured prominently in media coverage as a New Zealand fursuiter, provided hosting and IT support for FurcoNZ, and participated in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Colin received a BSc in Computer Science from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1997, and worked for over twelve years as a systems programmer and Linux server administrator for the University of Waikato; in March 2013 he moved to Mako Networks.
Colin's funeral will be at 3PM on Thursday 27 November at the chapel of Morrison Funeral Directors at 220 Universal Drive, Henderson, Auckland. A memorial for friends and family will be held 29 November in the Wellington area.
Update (21 Mar): The website Colin founded, Cub Central, is set to close after his death.
Furry artist FilthyRotten Jackalope (Tangela Parten, née Harris) has been reported dead following complications from emergency surgery at the age of 35.
A long-time resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and a long-time participant in the local furry community, FilthyRotten served as Volunteer Coordinator at Furry Weekend Atlanta from 2008 to 2013. She moved in June 2013 to Vancouver, Washington, with her husband DarkPatu (Paul Parten) and their three children.
On April 1, 2014, FilthyRotten posted pictures to her Twitter account from her stay at the Peace Health Services Hospital for a blood transfusion (due to a history of chronic internal bleeding), but by April 4, she posted that she would be heading to emergency surgery the next day. According to DarkPatu, "Complications after an emergency hysterectomy led to an infection in her brain and cranial bleeding."