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Fursuiter and event organizer PandaGuy loses battle with heart failure, diabetes

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PandaGuy v3 Fursuiter and fan organizer PandaGuy (Jon Albers) died Sunday at age 44, after congestive heart failure accompanied by diabetes. [tip: Antimon]

PandaGuy was an ardent fursuiter, acting out the eponymous PandaGuy (created in 1996, rebuilt twice), Amiri Lion, Bamboozle the panda/coon, Boris Bear, Arkune Raccoon, and Big/Little Jabari.

Despite suffering from heart failure previously in 2004, PandaGuy threw himself into organizing PandaGuy's Picnic, held annually to 2005. He was a guest of honor for Mephit Fur Meet 12 in 2008.

A lifelong resident of Bethesda, Maryland, Jon attended Walt Whitman High School and worked for the IRS as a system admin and network analyst until 2008. An avid Disney and Lion King fan, he made annual pilgrimages with friends to Disney World for his birthday, and had a large plush animal collection amassed over 40 years.

Update (3 Oct): PandaGuy's funeral will take place Monday October 8 at 11 AM at Neal Funeral Home, 230 North Military Street in Lawrenceburg, TN; a short service will also be held on the 4th for those in DC. [tip: bluecanary]


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My father died of the same terrible disease only recently.

I urge everyone to donate to relevant charities -- and to take any diagnosis of diabetes extremely seriously.

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An amazing friend :( he'll be missed!!

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If ever there was a person who embodied fursuiting within the furry fandom, It was PandaGuy.
Love and miss ya.

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

RIP friend I regret not seeing you earlier this year you will be missed.

I remember going to his house to work on fursuit building Way back. I also remember attending his picnics every fall. This is truely a loss.

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RIP my friend. You were one of the first people I met in the fandom at my first con, and you were a dear friend.

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A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
the memories of times, have come to an end,
their threads wove the fabric of an earlier day.

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
sunrises and sunsets, bright days and dark nights
circled again and again, and gave context to this life,
moment after moment, their life was lived each day.

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
lives have been touched by the dear one's journey,
laughter, tears, hopes, fears, a life has come to an end
memories hold their spirit alive, in my own life.

A life has ended, with the passing of a friend,
the loss of future moments, that will not be,
grateful for moments shared, that nourished me,
moments lived, in casual belief, they would never end.

A part of me has ended, with the passing of a friend,
be they gone from the earthly plane, their spirit soars,
to renew again, in summerland, heaven or another life,
I know not where, but their love remains with me,
for in this life, we friends, did share.

I miss my friend, but they will always be near, inside
of me, inside you, and all who took time to hear,
the music of this life so dear, a life now silent,
living only in the memory, of those who survive.

Copyright Abby Willowroot 2009

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I just met you last month at MFM 2012, and you were sonice and friendly.

May you RIP and be lifted up by the joy and happiness you brought to so many

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He was one of the sweetest, most soft-spoken guys I ever met. I remember his fursuit workshops. I remember what a great time were his Panda Guy's Picnics at Glen Echo. He will always be remembered.


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I never got a chance to know you well, but it was my pleasure to attend one of the last picnics you had hosted and I will always remember the trip to the zoo you organized at my first MFM (even in that sweltering heat and with all your health problems you still managed to wear your panda fursuit and make that day special for the crowd to commemorate the zoo hosting a panda on loan from China).

The fandom has lost someone special :(

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Circumstances did not conflate for me to garner an introduction, but we should remember that each of us can strive to be special as PandaGuy was.

We could try and make suits, organize events, and run them. And, maybe we should, to honor the dead by carrying on with a better life than we would have, otherwise. Even a little one with a couple of friends is something, and one can start small and slowly build up with practice.

Though the fandom has lost someone special, it does not need to have lost his spirit.

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Rather depressing stories to greet me today. Rest in peace.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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I met him at mfm years ago.. he was such a sweetheart. I'm glad I got the chance to meet him if even once. My heart and prayers go out to hs fammily and close friends. May he rest in peace.

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Looks like it was instead Congestive heart failure *the 3rd time* that got him. Details from his surviving mother are still forthcoming.

I miss him terribly, When I think to all the conversations I ducked out of on skype, it makes me that much more sad.

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An awesome person indeed. He will be greatly missed. I was just thinking of him a couple days at as I reached for my wallet. We went to a mall near Washington DC in 2000 where my wallet at the time fell apart. Been using the same new one ever since. It has long stood as a reminder of our friendship.

Never forgotten, my friend!



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I have known Jon for a number of years, and was lucky enough to spend some time with him, and work on fursuits with him. He always had an upbeat attitude, and tried to help others even when his own health was failing.

Rest in peace, PG.

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Having worked staff at MFM for a decade, I saw Jon a lot. He was a good guy to be around and will definitely be missed.

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I will deepiy miss Panda Guy. He was a good friend and a mentor of mine. We had many fun romps at Glen Echo park in MD, and that place will never be the same without him


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So long old friend. You fought bravely and were an inspiration to us all.

Rest In Peace and we all will see you across the rainbow bridge one day soon.

- Razor

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Where do I start with this, I've known Jon pretty much as long as I've been in the fandom. When I came into the fandom in 1998, I tried talking to a few folks online, but nothing panned out. Then I went to a little con called Albany Anthrocon, and this guy in a panda suit asks if I could take pictures for him.

I credit him for being one of the folks that more or less kept me around that first year as we seemed to meet up a number of times those first few years.

Jon helped me meet a bunch of furs in the first couple years. Some of them stayed around, others went their own way.

But Jon remained one of the nicest guys around in furry. When the health issues started adding up, I was happy to still see him doing what he loved. I would peek at his Disney trips he would go to with a mutual friend and how happy that made him.

Good bye Panda, godspeed.

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I've known him for almost 10 years. He was a kind-hearted and good man. Fair winds and following seas my friend.

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I'm still not sure what to think. PandaGuy was the first person that ever encouraged me to get out in costume at my first con, MFM 1999. I met him for the first time that year. He had this warm voice and attitude that just made you feel welcome. Despite some hickups through the years when He seemed down, any time I talked to him, he was always the same. I'm going to miss him like no other. He was a land mark person in my history with the fandom and my associations. RIP Panda Dude.

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When I heard the news yesterday morning the first thought was that this was a nightmare and I was just dreaming. Sadly that nightmare turned real when I picked up my phone and saw a text from Kenny Kitsune confirming it and all the posts on FA making it a cold reality. I knew Pandaguy since 1999 and met him at Albany Anthrocon and he was fun to be around and a great guy. We joked around and at this past years FC 2012 he was there and I was so happy to see him! We even got a picture together in suits with his lion Jabari and my hyena Savannah. I am still crying from time to time and I expect that I will be doing that for days to come.. rest in peace Pandaguy.. you will be sorely missed :(

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I regret I never had the opportunity to meet PandaGuy in person, but he was, thankfully, one of the first people I encountered on joining LiveJournal. His indomitable enthusiasm for fursuiting and furry socialising was quite inspirational, and to find him having left us only two days after his last LJ update is shocking, despite his chronic ailments.

He'll be well remembered.

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It's good to see so many suiters and furs from 'way back in the day' coming out to show their respects. Pandaguy was a fixture for those of us on the east coast back in the early 2000's, his meets were pretty legendary throughout most of the 5 state area around here. It's not going to be the same without him.

Kyraeus Aurynn Wulf

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PandaGuy's funeral will take place Monday October 8 at 11 AM at Neal Funeral Home, 230 North Military Street in Lawrenceburg, TN; a short service will also be held on the 4th for those in DC. [tip: bluecanary]

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Rest in peace, PandaGuy. We never had the chance to meet, but you inspired and touched the lives of many of my friends in the furry fandom. You will be missed. May the Great Bear Spirit guide and comfort you.

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PandaGuy spread joy and friendship wherever he went. He did a great deal for the fandom, and was someone you could turn to for help without fear of having judgment passed on you. It's a shame to lose him so young; he truly was a great guy.


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Panda was a good guy, what a shame I didn't talk to him more. When people pass, you often wish to have talked to them more often before they passed.

This year has not been good for furries...

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i missed him too. Me and him almost became true friends after the passing some part of me felt very sad.

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About the author

GreenReaper (Laurence Parry)read storiescontact (login required)

a software developer and Norn from London, UK, interested in wikis and computers

Small fuzzy creature who likes cheese & carrots. Founder of WikiFur, lead admin of Inkbunny, and Editor-in-Chief of Flayrah.