Obituary: Marty Gear

Fan Marty Gear (b.1940) died on July 18. Gear began attending Worldcons in 1953. Gear became a costumer and helped build up the Masquerade at Balticon and chaired CostumeCon 3. He also chaired Balticon 21 and was a Guest of Honor at Genericon 2, Arisia 9, and Balticon 30. Gear sat on the BSFS Board of Directors. He founded what would become the first International Costumers’ Guild chapter and in 1991, Gear received the ICG Lifetime Achievement Award.

  1. Kelly Hickey — July 19, 2013 @ 5:20 am

    Just heartbreaking for me and many of my friends. Just a wonderful , sweet human being, who always was a delight to see at conventions and was just the warmest person. He will be missed greatly.

  2. Sharon Shugrue — July 19, 2013 @ 7:48 am

    I am just crushed to hear this news. Having met Marty on many occasions, he was someone you could always turn to for advice, for a real, honest opinion, someone who was really have on your side, encouraging you. He was a joy to talk to, a wealth of knowledge and brimming with real excitement and passion for the projects he was involved in. He will be greatly, sorely missed.

  3. Joe Hall — July 19, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

    What a great guy with a generous vampire heart. He will be missed.

    Beloved Costume Competition MC, TV Star (Midnigt Moster Hop) and always at the better Conventions. Always dressed to die for.

    Always a kind words for everyone especially costumed children (which included my daughter).

    He had a habit of wearing dark color dress shirts (never white).

    His only flaw was his bad vampire jokes.

    He had a happy life.

    We really do hope he is a Vampire and will retun

  4. Patricia Buard — July 19, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

    Marty will be sorely missed by all costumers. He did so much, especially for East Coast costuming. If he ran and/or MC’d a Masquerade you knew it would be a smooth ride. I first met him in the early ’80’s at Darkover Con and Costume Con, and even though I only saw him at cons, I feel like I have lost a good friend.

  5. Marty Gear (1939 – 2013) | File 770 — July 21, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

    […] 13 in 1979 and became a regular fixture as the con’s masquerade director beginning in 1981. He chaired CostumeCon 3 (1985) and Balticon 21 (1987). He held major committee posts on 4 Worldcons. Michael J. Walsh, chair of the 1983 Baltimore […]

  6. Pete Addicks — August 5, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

    Marty’s Last Con
    I am not a “Keeper of the Flame” at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. An occasional Balticon, a few Berserker T-Shirts, ”Alphabet Soup” once in a while. But one cannot participate in the Society without seeing, hearing or being aware of Marty Gear. Chairmanships, judging, and everybody’s favorite “Masquerade Master of Ceremonies” with the endless stream of vampire jokes. He was a celebrity while I was a neophyte. I gave him space and did not intrude until the 2011 North American Discworld Convention II in Madison, Wisconsin. Perusing the attendee list, there was Marty Gear. Yep, THE Marty Gear. Marty was a Terry Pratchett fan! I got word to him that a fellow Crab Masher was in town, was he available for coffee?

    Always the gentleman, Marty sat down with a stranger. He told tales of growing up, spending weekends with his Greek grandfather, a tailor. Stories of mishaps in Masquerades and of course, his beloved Bobby. Fast forward to the 2013 Diskworld. Found my way to the Gala Banquet table, and there sits Marty Gear. Trying to recapture the charm and entertainment of his side of the conversation would be futile. Just let it be said that it was classic Marty, and I am saddened that I did not record it. But through the cheers and jeers of his long, long association with Science Fiction it was apparent that Marty was, and had remained, a fan.
    Pere & Betty Addicks

  7. J. G. Huckenpöhler — August 13, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

    Very sorry to learn (belatedly) of the passing of Marty. I worked with him as a calligrapher at masquerades for 30 years, beginning with ConStellation in 1983, and was impressed by his unfailing calm and courtesy even under the most stressful situations. Neither Balticon nor the masquerades will ever be the same for me.

  8. Victoria Huckenpahler — August 14, 2013 @ 8:59 am

    I was stunned to learn of Marty’s passing. He was the heart and soul of the Balticon masquerade and so devoted to the Reading is Fundamental program. I almost dread going to Balticon next year.

    This past year I had a long talk with him at Balticon. We brought each other up to date on our lives, and I had no hint anything was amiss with his health, which is why news of his passing was all the more stunning. One thing: he always spoke lovingly of his son, enjoyed his company. Especially after the passing of Bobby, son’s presence was a life-saver. So, Son (sorry,I don’t know your name), my heart goes out to you in what must be a very painful loss. Know you’re not alone. All Marty’s fans are alongside you.

    –Victoria H