Mark Worthen (1962-2011)

As most of you probably know by now, HWA’s Webmaster Mark Worthen passed away on September 19, 2011. Mark suffered a seizure while at work and died shortly thereafter.

Mark was an integral part of HWA, and a list of all of the duties he performed for us on a daily basis would take up the entire page. He assigned user IDs and passwords, he kept the Web site current and clean, he moderated the message board, he compiled Bram Stoker Award recommendations, he wrote two monthly columns for the newsletter, and he did a lot of those behind-the-scenes things that you all thankfully never hear about, like resolving issues with our databases and domain host.

But Mark wasn’t just some cyber-janitor sweeping up around HWA’s Web presence. It was rare that Mark just answered a question; he usually answered it with good humor and maybe even advice.

In my capacity as HWA’s Treasurer, I had the pleasure of working closely with Mark since he took over as HWA’s Webmaster in 2007. We exchanged hundreds, maybe thousands of E-mails. We developed a friendship that spilled over into spending time together (along with Mark’s delightful wife Jeannie) whenever we were in the same physical location. Mark was known throughout the horror community as a generous, warm-hearted guy, always ready with words of support or suggestion.

He was also a fine writer, who I have no doubt would have continued to grow a following. His short fiction received “Honorable Mentions” in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best anthologies, and last year he garnered his first Bram Stoker Award nomination, for the story “Final Draft” (from Horror Library Volume IV). Mark was also a prolific reviewer (for http://www.feoamante.com ), and he co-edited (with J.P. Edwards) the acclaimed anthology Desolate Souls.

Mark was also an expert linguist who had lived in Peru and Korea. By day he was employed by Lincoln University, and lived in Missouri.

Mark is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and by his children. HWA wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to Jeannie and Mark’s family. Mark was part of HWA’s glue, and we’re going to miss him terribly.

For more about Mark, you can read his blog at http://nitewanderer.livejournal.com/ or his Web site at http://www.teachout.net/worthen/.

— Lisa Morton

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