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obituaries

Spike "Boss Pony" Nico, founder of club Rainbow Tiger, passes on

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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.

2016: A grueling year of growth for furry fandom

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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 of the celebrities that 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 general interactions have made themselves apparent this year more than any in recent memory.

Obituary: Brian Bedford, voice of Disney's 'Robin Hood'

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Brian BedfordBrian 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.

Doug Winger loses battle with COPD

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Doug Winger, 1955-2015Legendary furry artist Doug Winger, is expected to last only a few hours, according to local friend Bob Guthrie, after doctors removed the ventilator keeping his failing body alive per his DNR order.

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.

Goodbye to a Couple of Bears

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.]

Obituary: Remembering Christine Cavanaugh

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bunnie2_0.jpgIt 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.

Obituary: Colin Palmer, NZ furry webmaster and fursuiter

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Colin Palmer New Zealand furry fan Colin Palmer died unexpectedly on November 15, aged 39. He is survived by his partner, Nipper.

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 dies from surgery complications

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FilthyRotten (1979-2014)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."

Fursuiter Lemonade Coyote dies in crash while on EMT duty

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Lemonade CoyoteFursuiter Lemonade Coyote/Cyrus (Timothy McCormick) is reported dead after another vehicle broadsided his ambulance early this morning. He was 24. [tip: Scott J. Fox]

While not on duty, Lemonade enjoyed fursuiting. His suit's bright and vibrant pink and yellow was true to the name. He was passionate for sticking up for what was right; once saying his dream job was to be a homicide detective.

This isn't the first time that a motor vehicle accident has prematurely taken away a furry fan. Automobile accidents have become a leading cause of death in the fandom.

Fyodor Khitruk, 1917-2012

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Fyodor Khitruk died today. He was the leading Soviet animator from about the 1960s to until the Soviet Union ended in 1991. I met him briefly at the 1989 International Festival of Animation here in Los Angeles. He had brought the leading animators from each of the 15 Soviet republics to L.A. with him. They stood around muttering something like, "What are we doing in America?" "I don't know, but Fyodor said that we had to come."

I remember that he was an extremely imposing personality, probably the most dynamic person at the festival even though he was a dumpy old man. He was the sort of man who dominated a crowd even when he was just standing around doing nothing.

Khitruk was born just before the Russian Revolution, so he lived through the entire Soviet era. His animation tended to be the "arty" style that won awards but lost money because it was too intellectual. The Soviet government subsidized that sort of thing in the name of "we are not profit-oriented capitalists", but when the Soviet Union ended and the new Russian government was profit oriented, Khitruk could not get his films funded any more because they were not commercial. He mostly taught animation at the Moscow Academy since then.

He was not known for anthropomorphic characters, but he made very cute films of three Winnie the Pooh stories in the 1960s and 1970s that are nothing like Disney's, and are good enough to justify his obituary on Flayrah. Here is the second of them.

Stalking Cat confirmed dead at 54

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Stalking Cat (Dennis Avner)Dennis Avner, better known under his Native American name Stalking Cat, died November 5. He was 54.

OggyWolf and BlueCanary confirmed Stalking Cat's death with local officials. His body is being held in Tonopah morgue for his brother [tip: STrRedWolf]. No cause of death was stated, but some claim suicide.

A former U.S. Navy sonar technician, and programmer, Stalking Cat was famous for having had extensive cosmetic surgery to adopt the likeness of his totem animal, the tiger, in accordance with Huron traditions. His body modifications included a split lip, labret-based whisker-holding implants, dental surgery, and silicone injections. He was also extensively tattooed.

Stalking Cat was a guest of honor at Rainfurrest 2007, and appeared at CritterConDiego 3 in 2002.

More coverage: BME ModBlog (inc. interview) - East County Magazine [tip: Higgs Raccoon]

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.

Porcelain Joe 'killed in a car accident'

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Furry artist Porcelain Joe died last Friday in a car accident, according to a friend. He was 25. [tip: Rayne Van-Dunem]

Joe, also known as Josey Pearl on Second Life, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended Los Medanos College as an animation student. He had previously attended Diablo Valley College, and De La Salle High School in Concord, California.

Joe joined the fandom last year; his prior work was on deviantART.

Goodbye Gobo

Muppet fans around the world were recently saddened by another loss: Jerry Nelson, who had one of the longest careers of anyone in the world of Jim Henson’s Muppets, passed away on Thursday the 23rd at the age of 78. He was best known by legions of children around the world — including many who are now adults — as the voice and puppeteer of Count von Count, the beloved Sesame Street character who loved to count things as much as he loved to laugh maniacally. He was also the voice of the seldom-seen mammoth-like Mr. Snuffleupagus, Herry Monster, and Robin — Kermit the Frog’s young nephew.  More recently he was the voice and hands behind Floyd Pepper, bass player for The Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show and subsequent movies. And after that, he brought to life Gobo Fraggle, the leader of the band of colorful characters on Fraggle Rock. So far, there’s no word on how Mr. Nelson’s passing might affect any plans that Jim Henson Productions (or their current owner, the Walt Disney Company) might have for a Fraggle Rock movie. As for Mr. Nelson… as Floyd Pepper might say, Rest in Peace my man.


image c. 2012 Jim Henson Productions

 

Harison Long-Randall, aka "Elden", has died

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Gemily, Hari, and their four beloved dogsHarison Long-Randall, known as "Elden" in the furry fandom, passed away at 3.02am this morning from complications from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run on July 16, according to family. Eyewitnesses said he heroically put himself in front of his girlfriend, Gemily (known as "Wolfgem" in the fandom) to shield her from the oncoming car. Their four Australian Cattle Dogs were also killed in the crash.

Long-Randall, 21, was a college student at American River College studying improv, an avid fursuiter and cosplayer, and was loved by many both in the fandom as well as out.

His last day in the hospital, Harrison said he remained puzzled that he was being called a hero.

"He said he had just done what he had been taught to do," his father said.

Donations for help with Harison and Geminy's medical bills are still being accepted through a fund set up by the Sacramento Bee, and more information on donating can be found here at the bottom of the article.