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Howard DeVore

from the fanzine File 770 #147 (2006); reprinted from Vanamonde

In 1954 he said Detroit would hold a Worldcon over his dead body, so when Detention started in 1959 there was a gunshot and his body was dragged across the stage. That was premature. He had already been at every Midwestcon, the summer relaxacon with first-rate fans and nothing else; there was only one way that string could be broken, as it was last December (1925-2005). He was Guest of Honor there in 1990.

He co-chaired Tricon, the 24th Worldcon, in 1966. He was Fan Guest of Honor at Lunacon thirty years before me (New York, 1971). In 1973 he stood for TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund), nominated by Buck Coulson, losing to the Moffatts who with two big hearts outdid him the only possible way. In 1978 with Don Franson he published A History of the Hugo, Nebula, & International Fantasy Awards; NESFA Press (New England S-F Association) carries the 3rd revision of 1998.

He was the universal collector and dealer; for World War II he padlocked his collection in a spare room and took the key with him while he went to fly belly-gunner on a B-17 in the Mighty 8th Air Force. He had a steel helmet with an airplane propeller. When he was home, years went by with his doors unlocked. One of his business cards said "Expert", one said "Burke, Hare & DeVore", at least two said "First Fandom", most being less printable he printed himself.

He never was given the Big Heart Award, probably because everyone already knew; in 2005 he was placed in the First Fandom Hall of Fame. By then he had been named Fan Guest of Honor for a Worldcon, L.A.con IV (2006); you can see him and Roger Sims trading tales in Progress Report 3; he had said "You just have to outlive all the important people, and then they make you Fan Guest of Honor," which I wish had been more false and more true. He is survived by three daughters and four grandchildren. He asked his friends "Drink a shot of Jim Beam for me." Good-bye, Big-Hearted Howard, good-bye.