- In Memoriam
With sadness Tolkien Studies marks the passing in 2005 of two esteemed members of the Tolkien community, Karen Wynn Fonstad and Dan Timmons, both of whom made notable contributions to Tolkien scholarship and fandom.
Karen Wynn Fonstad graduated from The University of Oklahoma with an M.A. in Geography, specializing in cartography. A freelance cartographer, part-time lecturer at The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and speaker at many events, her specialty became the mapping of landscapes in fantasy fiction. Karen was the author and cartographic illustrator of The Atlas of Middle-earth (1981), with a revised edition published in 1991. She also wrote and illustrated other fantasy atlases, including The Atlas of Pern, The Atlas of the Land, The Atlas of the Dragonlance World and The Forgotten Realms Atlas. Karen died 11 March 2005, of complications from cancer. She is survived by her husband Todd Fonstad and their two children, Dr. Mark Fonstad and Kristina Stingle.
Dan Timmons received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto with a dissertation exploring the critical history and authorial scholarship of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. He published a number of articles and gave many conference papers on Tolkien. With George Clark, Dan co-edited J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth (2000). He also wrote, directed and produced the video documentary, The Legacy of The Lord of the Rings (2003). Featuring scenes from Tolkien's boyhood and Oxford years, as well as interviews with a number of Tolkien scholars, the film presents the literary impulses, artistic features, critical and creative response and cultural legacy of Tolkien's masterpiece. The program has been broadcast in Canada on Bravo! and SPACE: The Imagination Station. Dan also contributed articles for the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, forthcoming from Routledge. After a long battle with progressive motor neuron disease, Dan died on 18 December 2005. He is survived by his wife Sunny and a son, Marcos, born in September of 2004.
Both Karen and Dan are missed by all those who knew them and respected their work.