(May 9, 1956 - November 22, 2018)
Lee (Van Deest) Billings was a southern fan and filker who was part of Nashville, TN fandom, first when she joined the SCA and the Nashville Science Fiction Club as a teenager, and later as a member of the Middle Tennessee Science Fiction Society and then the social club spinoff BEMS, for which she and her then-husband Tom Billings sometimes hosted events.
A singer and brilliant lyricist, she became an avid filker, coordinating the Filk programming at many conventions. Up to the 1990s, there was a lack of strong filk programming in Southern Fandom. She filled that gap by founding the filk convention Musicon and chairing it for 5 years.
Lee was nominated for a Pegasus Award (the Filkers' Hugo Awards) for The Ballad of Fleet Sergeant Ho as Best Military Song in 1995.
After moving to Houston in the late 1990s, where she lived with her partner Russ Ault and a family of rescue cats, Lee became a strong supporter of Apollocon, and assisted that convention in various roles.
Lee was a jewelry artisan, creating unique and interesting pieces. She and her partner Russ had a Dealer's Table at many conventions. She regularly posted photos of unusual and fascinating geological specimens on her Facebook wall. In her business' "About" section, she said, "Starcat Designs came into being in 2002, growing out of my love of rocks and minerals. Most of my jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind.The materials used include stone, glass, organics (pearls, bone, shell, wood, etc.), and metals."
She died of pancreatic cancer in 2018.
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
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