MFF co-founder Takaza J. Wolf passes away (1976-2017)
A little over two weeks ago, the fandom received some very sad news:
At 2:02PM today, Dan Hauschild (@takazajw) passed away from a massive heart attack.
Dan, I love you so much. I will love you forever.
— That Husky Guy (@DuncanDaHusky) March 26, 2017
Takaza came into furry fandom in 1995 through his interest in The Lion King. He joined several MUCKs (The Lion King MUCK, FDCMuck, FurryMUCK and Furtoonia) and was one of the creators of BaltoMUCK. After making contact with Chicago-area furs, he began helping out at Duckon 7 and 8 (1998-1999).
He played a large part in DucKon's furry track and its evolution into Midwest FurFest, one of the world's largest furry conventions. He was chair of MFF for four years, and was on staff in various leadership positions from the beginning, not to mention having served on staff at Anthrocon and other conventions and providing programming at Fursquared. He also founded, along with his husband Duncan da Husky, the Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable, a forum for convention staff to share ideas and improve the con experience for attendees. Basically if you've been to a furry convention in the past couple of decades, his work has helped make your good time possible. Beyond that, he was a kind and selfless friend who touched a lot of people's lives in the fandom.
On the MFF website, Kodi writes,
Takaza's legacy with Midwest FurFest is a story of dedication and love for our fandom. Having been part of first Midwest FurFest for over 18 years, Takaza has served in a multitude of roles and departments - including four years as our convention chair.
Takaza's contributions to our community go well beyond even FurFest, having also volunteered his time with numerous other conventions, including Anthrocon, Fursquared and, of course, Wuff Meet and the Furry Convention Leadership Roundtable. I have no doubt that our convention would not be where we are today if it were not for his hard work, tireless dedication and influence; an influence that has formed many of the foundations of our convention today.
Of course, Takaza meant far more to us than just a hard-working volunteer. He was a friend, a confidante, a big-thinker, and like many of us (myself included), a true nerd in the absolutely best ways possible. Whether he was zipping through the convention, or battling roller coasters [with the American Coaster Enthusiasts], the thing that touched me most was his infectious enthusiasm for everything he did. I'm deeply saddened by the loss, but I know that I’m stronger for the guidance and direction he selflessly offered over the years.
Fellow convention-organizer Alkali shared some of his memories in a recent episode of The Dragget Show.
In addition, over 100 friends attended Takaza's memorial service, held on April 1.
Takaza is survived by his mother; his husband Duncan da Husky, and their two dogs; three siblings; and many nieces and nephews.
For those wishing to send an expression of condolence, his family suggests a memorial donation to SaveAVet.org.
"Life is short. Be silly!" ―Dan Hauschild
Sources: WikiFur - Legacy.com - Furry Reddit - Twitter - Midwest FurFest
:(. Duncan has been taking care of himself so well despite this.
I'm sorry for the loss here. The fandom owes a lot to one of our largest con's success to him and the talents and toils of his life had left something wonderful in his wake.
Those left behind will continue these toils, and may the legacy left behind continue to grow and prosper.
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