Former Members - In Memoriam
This page honors some of our former members who are no longer with us.
If you have further information about any of those below, or know of additional members to acknowledge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glen GoodKnight (1941 - 2010)
Glen GoodKnight founded the Mythopoeic Society in 1967. His many contributions to the Society included the formation and rapid growth of the early Society, publications, annual conferences, and discussion groups. There is so much to say about him that it wouldn't fit on this page, so please follow this link to a collection of remembrances from Mythprint. There is an additional remembrance of Glen here, written by Edith Crowe.
His obituary appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
Edmund R. Meškys (1936 - 2021)
Ed Meškys was the second Thain (president) of the Tolkien Society of America. He led it for most of its 1965-72 existence. As Thain, Ed edited several issues of the Tolkien Journal (and also the TSA newsletter, The Green Dragon), During that period he sponsored the first Tolkien conference, at Belknap College in New Hampshire where he taught.
He was also very active in science fiction fandom. Even after he went blind and had to give up his organizational activities — the TSA was merged into the Mythopoeic Society in 1972 — for many years he would often attend Mythcon, always accompanied by a golden retriever guide dog. He was Guest of Honor at Mythcon 6 in 1975. Ed was also able to continue publication of his fanzine Niekas, which during the 60s had published a lot of important Tolkien material, including Tolkien’s interview by Henry Resnik, and the first drafts of Robert Foster’s Guide to Middle-earth.
Alexei Kondratiev (1949 - 2010)
Alexei Kondratiev was an American author, linguist, and teacher of Celtic languages, folklore and culture. He taught the Irish language and Celtic history at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan, New York from 1985 until his death in 2010. It was said that he "spoke over 60 languages and was fluent in 13 to 20 of them." The collection of languages he acquired included the Native American languages of Cherokee, Lenape, Lakota, and Navajo.
A long-time member of the Mythopoeic Society, Alexei was the Scholar Guest of Honor at Mythcon 33 in 2002, papers coordinator for Mythcon 39 in 2008, and maintained a book review column in Mythlore.
In 2010, the Society named a new award after Kondratiev, the Alexei Kondratiev Memorial Student Paper Award, which was presented for the first time at Mythcon 41.
David D. Oberhelman (1965 - 2018)
David was W.P. Wood Professor of Library Service at the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University, where he had worked since 1999. David was an active member of the American Library Association, and was the author of over 100 scholarly publications and numerous professional presentations.
He served many years on the Mythsoc Council of Stewards (its board of directors), first as head of the Mythopoeic Press and later as the Steward for Mythopoeic Awards. He also contributed to the Society in other ways, serving on the Advisory Board for the Press and helping to judge the Alexei Kondratiev Award.
Fellow Steward Lynn Maudlin said that David “was such a kind and gentle man, fun and encouraging and unselfish.” Fellow Steward and academic colleague Phillip Fitzsimmons said of David, “[He] was as well-known and well regarded among academic librarians in Oklahoma as he was in the Mythopoeic Society. During that first year after his death his name came up at a lot of meetings and workshops. The thing I heard over and over was ‘David was the first person who made me feel welcomed and like I belonged at OLA.’”
Because of his interest in, dedication to, and participation in the library community, the Mythopoeic Press assembled a gedenkschrift in his honor, Loremasters and Librarians in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Mary Kay Kare (1952 - 2021)
A long time Mythie, former Steward, and judge on the Mythopoeic award committees for many years. She was also involved in the wider SF fan community, working on a large number of Worldcons and other conventions, plus publishing fanzines and participating in many APAs.
Mythlore editor Janet Croft said, “I met Mary Kay at a few of my early Mythcons. She taught me a very useful mantra: being in SF fandom means never having to say ‘But where would I wear THAT?’”
David Bratman's memories of her are here.
Paul Nolan Hyde (1942 - 2021)
Paul Nolan Hyde was a linguistics professor at Brigham Young University and wrote Mythlore’s “Quenti Lambardillion” column on Tolkien’s languages, which ran in nearly every issue from 1982 through 1992. He also served, at various times, as Mythlore’s Philology Editor and Submissions Editor, and he contributed to Vinyar Tengwar as well.
Hyde’s appreciation of Tolkien from the viewpoint of an observant member of the Church of Latter-day Saints at the time of the release of the first Peter Jackson movie is well worth reading; and the introductory section is a good recounting of his discovery of, and love for, the Inklings.
Adam Christensen (1951 - 2021)
Artist Adam Victor Christensen's delicate pen and ink illustrations and calligraphy were a beloved feature of Mythlore as well as of Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon, publications of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, a special interest group of the Mythopoeic Socety. Among his many favorite authors were Hans Christian Andersen, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Ray Bradbury, Peter S. Beagle, Diana Paxson, and Guy Gavriel Kay. He is survived by his partner of over 30 years, Christopher Gilson, editor and publisher of Parma Eldalamberon.
Richard C. West (1944 - 2020)
Richard, a librarian, was one of the first Tolkien scholars, possibly best known for his 1975 essay on the interlace structure of The Lord of the Rings, which appeared in Jared Lobdell’s A Tolkien Compass. He also won the 1976 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inkling Studies for Tolkien Criticism: An Annotated Checklist.
Richard helped found the Tolkien and Fantasy Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966, and published the pioneering Tolkien fanzine/journal Orcrist. He was also one of the founders of the feminist science fiction convention, WisCon. David Emerson says, “I remember moderating a panel on Tolkien at an early Wiscon, and asking the panelists what works of Tolkien they had read. Richard unhesitatingly answered, ‘All of them!’ Even back then, he was a certified Tolkien expert.”
He was Scholar Guest of Honor at Mythcon 45 in 2014, where he gave a remarkable speech on the theme of “Where Fantasy Fits” (printed in Mythlore #125).
David Bratman's tribute to Richard is here.
Ryder Miller ([1964? 1971?] - 2020)
A long-time contributor to The Mythic Circle, he was the editor of From Narnia to a Space Odyssey: The War of Ideas Between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis, and published articles and reviews for such diverse publications as The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Raintaxi, and The Electronic Green Journal (for which one of his essays was “The Missing Green Context of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings”).
Upon his death, Ryder's will bequeathed a large financial gift to the Mythopoeic Society, for which we are extremely grateful.
Jared Lobdell (1937 - 2019)
Jared Lobdell one of the first Tolkien scholars, and his edited collection A Tolkien Compass was one of the earliest works of academic critism about Tolkien.
In addition to many scholarly articles and essays, his published books include The World of the Rings: Language, Religion, and Adventure in Tolkien, The Rise of Tolkienian Fantasy, The Scientifiction Novels of C. S. Lewis: Space and Time in the Ransom Stories, Eight Children in Narnia: The Making of a Children's Story , and The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams, 1930-1935. He also wrote 23 of the essays in the 2006 J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia.
Lobdell was a guest speaker at the New York Tolkien Conference in 2016.
Nancy-Lou Patterson (1929 - 2018)
Nancy-Lou Patterson was one of the most prolific contributors to Mythlore, beginning with a paper in the Proceedings of the very first Mythcon in 1969 and continuing through her last review published in Mythlore #88 in 2001. In addition to reviewing well over 200 titles for Mythlore, she served as Book Review Editor for issues #26-84 and member of the Editorial Board for issues #58-84.
Most of her articles and reviews have been published in a series of collections edited by Emily E. Auger and Janet Brennan Croft. They include two volumes on C.S. Lewis and one each on Charles Williams and Dorothy Sayers, and two more volumes of reviews on other authors.
She was the Keynote Speaker at Mythcon 13 in 1982.
Joanne "Burnie" Burnett (1938 - 2017)
Joanne taught English, Fantasy, and Science Fiction from 1965 to 1995 at Wooster High School in Reno NV. In the late 1960s she founded Wooster's Tolkien Society, and together with many of her students, was a member of the local Mythsoc group Crickhollow up until the last days of her life.
Jef Murray (1960 - 2015)
Jef Murray was a painter/illustrator whose works "explored that gossamer boundary between the natural world and the mythological realms just beyond," as he once described them. He was a long-time Mythopoeic Society member and contributed much artwork.
Jef edited the Mystical Realms newsletter, and he illustrated Black & White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien.
Tom Loback (???? - 2015)
Tom Loback contributed articles and artwork to Mythlore and other magazines in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was known for his unique artistic style and his calligraphy in cirth and tengwar.
Anne C. Petty (1945 - 2013)
Author and scholar Anne C. Petty was a specialist in comparative mythology and fantasy literature, in addition to English composition and technical writing. Her Tolkien scholarship included One Ring to Bind Them All: Tolkien’s Mythology and Tolkien in the Land of Heroes: Discovering the Human Spirit, among others.
Anne was a frequent Tolkien guest at Dragon Con in Atlanta, where she delivered interesting Tolkien themed lectures.
Mary Stolzenbach (???? - 2006)
A beloved friend and perpetual Mythcon attendee, Mary chaired the first Mythcon held in the South -- 2003’s Mythcon 34 in Nashville TN. She was such a frequent winner of the Clerihew contest at Mythcons that the contest was renamed in her honor.
Bernie Zuber (1933 - 2005)
Bernard A Zuber was a fan artist who was the original vice president of the Mythopoeic Society. He served as art editor and associate editor for early issues of Mythlore, and was one of the guests at Mythcon 13 in 1982.
William A.S. Sarjeant (1935 - 2002)
Sarjeant, also known by the pen name Antony Swithin (the A.S. in his name), wrote The Perilous Quest for Lyonesse series of novels in the vein of The Lord of the Rings.
Taum Santoski (1958 - 1991)
Taum J.R. Santoski was a prominent member of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship. Vinyar Tengwar 19 was dedicated to his memory.
He assisted Christopher Tolkien with the History of Middle-earth series, as he had connections to the Marquette collection of Tolkien material, where the original manuscripts reside. Volume IX of that series, Sauron Defeated, bears a dedication to Santoski.
Scott Norton (???? - ????) -- a Steward in the '80s as Secretary of Discussion Groups
Jonathan Hodge (???? - ????)
Karen Trimble (???? - ????)
Content copyright 1967- The Mythopoeic Society All rights reserved.