TrekMovie has been informed that Joan ("Joannie") Winston, one of the founders of the first Star Trek conventions and author of "The Making of the Star Trek Conventions," passed away September 11th at age 77. According to her family, Joan died in her sleep at an assisted living center in New York.
Joan Winston’s contributions to Star Trek fandom are legion. She was one of the organizers (aka "The Committe") of the original Trek conventions during the 1970s, the story of which is chronicled in her excellent 1977 book "The Making of the Trek Conventions." Winston was also a co-writer of the classic 1975 text "Star Trek Lives!" where she wrote about her visit to the Star Trek set during the filming of the episode "Turnabout Intruder." Winston also wrote fan fiction and even edited a fanzine ("Number One") all about William Riker. Winston continued attending and speaking at conventions into this decade, with her last appearance at Shore Leave in 2006. Winston was featured in the 2005 documentary Trekkies 2. In 2007, she was named the 4th most influential Star Trek fan of all time by Trekcore.com.
Winston’s book on conventions
Winston, who at the time worked for CBS and ABC was instrumental in introducing the main cast and crew of Star Trek to the notion of attending the world of conventions. Winston was a key source for William Shatner’s 1999 book on Trek fans and conventions, "Get a Life!" In the book Shatner describes Winston as "bright, bubbly, and energetic beyond every law of human physiology and comprehension," and Shatner goes on to thank Winston for "finally opening my eyes about Star Trek conventions and fans." About these early conventions, Winston is quoted by Shatner as saying:
There were people who found a friend, that was the most important – (starts to get emotional). Now, I’m getting all – because all the really good friends I’ve ever made came through Star Trek. I’ve also seen handicapped people and people who are socially challenged literally turn their lives around because of the love and acceptance and friendship they’ve found at the conventions.
This week, the Star Trek community has lost a friend. Winston was a pioneer who helped shaped Star Trek fandom. Thanks, Joan, and we’ll miss you. To learn more about Joan and her contribution to Trek fandom, both her "The Making of Star Trek Conventions" book as well as Shatner’s "Get A Life!" are highly recommended.
Services for Joan will be held Sunday September 14th, 2008 at the Plaza Funeral Home located at 630 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan at 9:30am and fans are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale located at 5901 Palisade Avenue, Bronx , NY 10471, who cared for her in her final months.
Winston from "Trekkies 2′