In memoriam: LottaKatz a.k.a. Pamela Janisch

Sad CatIt is with great sadness that I belatedly announce the death of longtime blog friend and general good person, LottaKatz a.k.a. Pamela Janisch. Born August 28, 1948 in St. Louis, Missouri, she died in her home on February 19, 2014 at the age of 65. Many of us knew she had been ill. Her last comments here indicated she was feeling too unwell to comment and was just going to lurk for awhile. Over the rather busy year since then, her name has come up many times behind the scenes and a few times in the comments. We wondered what had happened to our friend, but we also knew that the events at RIL when it “changed format” had caused her some disgust. I know at one time she mentioned to me taking a break from blogging altogether. She hadn’t been well for some time. Many of us figured she was recovering and taking a break.

To our collective heartbreak, we found out just today that was not the case through the intrepid detective work of our own Charlton Stanley.

Many of us at FFS, authors and posters alike, first came to know LottaKatz from our days at Jonathan Turley’s where she was once a frequent poster. Her quick wit, steady wisdom and unwillingness to take crap from anyone was an inspiration to us all. When I announced my departure from RIL, she posted the following:

lottakatz on 1, January 5, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Gene, You’re breaking my heart. Seriously.

To which I responded here with:

Gene H. says: January 7, 2014 at 10:27 am


I’m glad to see you and sorry for the late reply but I just now saw your post. Me? I’ve been busy. I hope the new blog helps ease the heartbreak caused at the old venue. 😀 It goes without saying that you can certainly lurk to your heart’s content, but I look forward to your comments in the future.

I meant every word of it. In fact, when this blog was created, she was one of the first posters to join us from that forum. She was outspoken. She was wise. She was kind. She was one of a kind. We had great fun discussing the topics of the day, science fiction and other literature, music, films and cooking.  All of which she had a wonderful critical eye for and exceedingly good taste concerning. And cats, naturally. Her posts were always a joy, even if the head she was cracking happened to be yours. I, for one, will miss her dearly.

She is survived by her husband, Ronald Whittington, and certainly family and many friends.

And us, her friends through the wires.

If you knew Pamela as Pamela or Pamela as LottaKatz, please share your thoughts or stories in the comments below. We are all poorer for the loss, but in remembering her, she lives on in our hearts. But we are all made of stardust. One of the best among us is gone? That doesn’t seem quite right.

I’d rather think she has simply gone home . . . to the stars, her destination.

Shine on, Pam.  Shine on.

Gene Howington, Editor-in-Chief

About Gene Howington

I write and do other stuff.
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28 Responses to In memoriam: LottaKatz a.k.a. Pamela Janisch

  1. rafflaw says:

    She is already missed.

  2. Anonymously Yours says:

    I think SWM put it pretty well…. She was above board and principals over personalities…..

    She certainly put me in my place…. On numerous occasions….. She will be missed…

  3. po says:

    May she rest in peace.

  4. Brìgh gach cluiche gu dheireadh.

    (The essence of a game is at its end.)

  5. blouise says:

    Dear lotta,

    I’ll meet you in the garden by that special sculpture.

  6. Slartibartfast says:

    ^..^ * (many) and I had a discussion about buddhabrots once. She would have really appreciated this ridiculously large buddhabrot. If you want to see the image in all its 500 megapixel glory (as she would have wanted to) you have to download the jpeg linked at the bottom of the page as large image and open it with an appropriate viewer. It is a 90MB file that expands to 1.5 GB in RAM when you open it and will almost certainly crash your browser. A scaled down (5000×6000) version is below.

    Enjoy LottaKatz.

    Buddhabrot for ^..^ * (many)

  7. amunre says:

    As a fellow St Louisian all I can say is Lotta did us proud…I don’t think I ever disagreed with any of her comments…..she will be missed

  8. Elaine M. says:

    We have missed lottakatz–our insightful friend who shared her wisdom and common sense with us.


    Excerpt from “Remember” by Christina Rossetti:

    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

  9. Mike Spindell says:

    As Gene mentioned, Pamela was among the first to join us when we resigned from Turley. At RIL she had been among the best of those commenting and her presence was one of the things that made go there worthwhile. Wisdom, humor, integrity and intelligence were her hallmarks. I knew she was a kindred soul when she let us know she was familiar with “Stand on Zanzibar”. You know a person has made an impact when her death affects so many in our community.

  10. swarthmoremom says:

    Both Pamela’s intelligence and her intellectual curiosity were amazing. She may have been getting older like many of us but she never missed beat when it came to cultural awareness.

  11. bettykath says:

    I remember lottakatz from RIL. I’m sorry she’s not with us here.

  12. Bob Stone says:

    Fine words Gene.

  13. gbk says:

    Hopefully, this will help in some small way:

    Manitoba Moon — Dorian Michael

  14. bron98 says:

    She was a very interesting woman. I very much enjoyed her take on issues, whether I agreed with them or not she was always thought provoking.

  15. eniobob says:

    Rest In Peace **LK**.The youth had a term awhile back,when talking to one another and making sure they were understood the term”Do you feel me ?” **LK** we felt you.

  16. gbk,
    Lovely. It does help. There is something about a lone guitar. When I was about 13, I got a Weissenborn guitar for Christmas. At that time my interests lay in other directions. We eventually sold it. Now I wish I had it back. When I finally retire later this year, I plan to go back to doing luthier work again, and building another Weissenborn guitar is at the top of my list. This is Kawamura Seiji playing a Weissenborn. The tune is Killing the Blues. I have had LK on my mind all day. This sort of says how I am feeling. Maybe it will speak to others as well.

  17. gbk says:


    Nice song, thank you.

    I bet you still had your Weissenborn. Didn’t know you did luthier work, it’s always been something I’ve wanted to try my hand at.

  18. gbk,
    Yes, it is a long-time hobby, but been away from it far too long. Life and work got in the way. I love beautiful wood, and what can come from it. This is one of my mountain dulcimers. Wish I could have shared it with LK. This will have to do.

  19. mespo727272 says:

    A fine and fitting tribute for a fine and fitting person. Unflappable, principled and exceedingly kind, Pamela was an inspiration to us all and a voice of reasoned compassion. It’s said the real impact of a life is proven in its affect on others as one ripple in the water prompts another and then another. If that’s true, Lottakatz was a rising tide and a wonderful companion for us all as we journied through the issues of the day together. Her wit and wisdom will be missed. As the Romans said, Ave Atque Vale ! Hail and Farewell!

  20. Mike Spindell says:

    “It’s said the real impact of a life is proven in its affect on others as one ripple in the water prompts another and then another.”

    I agree:

    • Mike Spindell says:


      L.K’s displayed a bravura performance in those three comments. She showed me that I had fallen for Nick’s game and I could see it because I respected her insight. Seeing that played a large role in my leaving Turley three days later. When it came to the Turley blog she helped me come to the point where: You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. The title of my next post.

  21. po says:

    Hey Pete, thanks for this, explains a lot.

  22. pete,

    Many thanks for digging that up. It was a fine illustration of why LK was not only loved, but respected. Her dissection of the dynamics in play was as fine and on point as they could be to someone not party to some of the other out of camera action that led to the schism. There was more that went on than that, for example some of the out of camera events that eventually led me to have ill will toward Jon that happened just after this blog started, but she was spot on and uncompromising in what she said.

    As they might have said in the days of Hammett, “That gal had moxie.”

    Makes me miss her all the more.

  23. Pete,
    That was an epic rant, which would have been deleted if she did it today.

    Look at the calendar. She left us one year ago today.

  24. blouise says:

    I used to call her Righteous Rant Rolldonna.

    Gene … by then we knew what we were going to do and lotta came with us.

    Thanks, pete

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