March 24th, 2015

headstone, tombstone, death, memorial

In Memoriam: Peggy Rae McKnight Pavlat Sapienza, 1944-2015

Three weeks ago, one of science fiction and fantasy fandom's hardest-working, kindest, funniest and most precious people, Peggy Rae Sapienza, entered the Inova Heart & Vascular Institute in Falls Church, VA for surgery and treatment. Yesterday, she died there at the age of 70.

She was one of the first friends I made in northeastern US fandom, way back in the late 1980s when I left my home state of Louisiana for good. I was one of many she cajoled into doing stuff for whatever club, convention or other fanac with which she was involved (usually artwork, in my case) and, as one of her many mourners notes today, it was simply impossible to say no to her.

Best-selling sfnal author John Scalzi has a far more eloquent tribute to her than I could ever muster, posted at his blog here. (UPDATE, 3/25: The web-based version of Mike Glyer's long-running fanzine File 770 has an even better one here.) The last I saw of them was at Loncon 3 (last year's Worldcon) in London, England, UK last August, and neither of them looked any the worse for wear (though John was riding a scooter to get up and down that gawdawful long hall, and I for one did not blame him in the slightest).

My deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to her husband John, her children and all the rest of her family, her friends uncountable, her fellow SMOFs and all the fans she served so tirelessly as a mentor. Wherever your questing soul may be, Peggy Rae, I hope you know that you are loved and missed more than you can possibly imagine.