Big Hearted Howard DeVore, SFOHA Director at (very) Large, friend, and source of "crap, Howard's telling another story, quick, turn on the recorder!" stories, died on the last day of last year, December 31, 2005.
(photo, Howard grinning in front of his pulp pictures)
I don't have quite the encyclopedic memory Howard did, but here's how I remember it. Howard was responsible for getting me into SFOHA. When Nancy Tucker Shaw (no relation to Bob Tucker) died and Jean Barnard had a stroke (Jean is still alive, by the way, at age 93+, although she has moved out of her house, her phone still forwards to the assisted living place) Howard gave me a call and asked Sharon Myers Shaw (no relation to Bob Shaw) and I to come to a SFOHA meeting at Lloyd's place to pick up the pieces. I mostly did it out of affection for Howard and Jean. Howard continued to remind me to go to SFOHA meetings and go with me for years, although he didn't honestly have a lot of enthusiasm for the running of the organization itself, it was something he believed should be kept alive.
We had a SFOHA meeting at Howard's house on September 18th, 2005, which turned out to be his last burst of energy and feeling really good. It was sort of a surprise to me, because I would generally see him about once a week and he had been doing really rotten, we'd had to cancel an earlier meeting we'd planned at his house because he had to check into the hospital. But that day he was in fine form, telling stories, serving refreshments, the daughters had the place cleaned up, and for several days after that he had more energy than me, accomplishing our assignments from the meeting. It was like Midwestcon in miniature.
I've told my stories about Howard in other places, go to http://cannibal.livejournal.com/201133.html if you want to read them, or go to the LAcon website if you want to see their memorial to a man that even death will not stop from being a Worldcon Fan GoH. I know Howard had an evil plan for what he wanted to do for the Worldcon, given the fact that he knew from the start he probably wouldn't make it, and I wouldn't want to spoil the joke by telling you now.
There will be a memorial for Howard at Midwestcon, June 22-25, 2006, and I plan to be there.