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Photo by Lady Camille des Jardins

Photo by Lady Camille des Jardins

The East Kingdom lost a true Renaissance man as Don Jehan Fitz Alan of Endewearde passed away suddenly at home on Friday, February 28th.

Don Jehan was a fine artisan and swordmaker, a talented swordsman, a long-time officer for his local group, and a gentle man devoted to nature, laughter, family, and the sea. He was an apprentice to the late Master Gregory Finche, and he served first as Exchequer for the (then) Shire of Endewearde starting in 1991, and then as Seneschal starting in 1994. He received his AoA from Randal and Katherine at Great Northeastern War V, and for his service to the East Kingdom he was inducted as a Companion of the Silver Crescent by Timothy and Gabrielle at Great Northeastern War XII. For his service to the Rapier community and his skill with a sword, Lucan and Marike inducted him as a Companion of the Golden Rapier at A Market Day at Birka (2000) and for his skill as a swordmaker he was recognized as a Companion of the Manche by Hanse and Oliva at Great Northeastern War XV. He had also served as Northern Region Rapier Marshal, and was currently serving the Barony of Endewearde as Exchequer for the incipient Canton of Wyndriche.

Ané du Vey and Syliva du Vey, Baron and Baroness of Endewearde, provided the following rememberances of Don Jehan:

“The Barony of Endewearde grieves as we absorb the shocking news that our beloved friend, Don Jehan Fitzalan, passed suddenly from a heart attack. Jehan has been a member of Endewearde for well over three decades. He contributed to our group as a fencer, artisan, officer, and friend.Jehan was lovingly known as “demo man” for doing over 100 demos in a time span of roughly one year, many of which were single person demos. It was largely for this work that he was elevated to the Order of the Silver Crescent in 1998. He contributed more service to Endewearde by becoming our Seneschal for several years, marshaling, and autocratting events.

Jehan was a talented artisan, working closely with his mentor and friend, Master Gregory Finche while making beautiful things. He was brought into the Order of the Maunche in 2001, for his work with metal.

Most notable was Jehan’s impact on the fencing community. He has been a long time fencer, marshal, teacher, and enthusiastic participant. Jehan was brought into the Order of the Golden Rapier in 2000. “Jehan’s Fighting and Fencing at the Fort” is an event he started many years ago, capitalizing on our Fort Knox, which provides a fantastic place for fencers and fighters to play. Part of his fencing legacy is his fencing company “The Fencibles,” comprised of fencers who represented some of the things Jehan most valued – prowess and fun.

Most recently, Jehan proclaimed himself the Admiral of the Navy of Endewearde because after all…he had not one, but TWO boats. He was in the process of recruiting and we had high hopes for the development of a thriving Navy to help Endewearde protect the shores of the East Kingdom. Above everything, Jehan was a friend. He had a kind and gentle nature, and a wit much sharper than his blade. His joy for the game was palpable and contagious. He was the epitome of honor, and courtesy.

If you were touched by Don Jehan’s presence in the Society, we join you in feeling the sadness of his passing. All of us appreciate warm thoughts and well wishes as we mourn the loss of our friend. The lights in the tower of Endewearde burn just a little bit dimmer tonight.”

Lord Otto Gottlieb, current Seneschal of the Barony of Endewarde, adds “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of another of Endewearde’s founding and members. Don Jehan Fitzalan was one of Endewearde’s finest. His efforts to build a strong and vibrant SCA branch in central Maine will not be forgotten. In the days to come we will reflect on a life well lived, yet ending much too soon. We are truly fortunate to have known him.”

Mistress Mercedes Vera de Calafia, former East Kingdom Rapier Marshal, current East Kingdom Seneschal and resident of Endewarde, also adds “The passing of Don Jehan FitzAlan has broken my heart. I still find it hard to believe I’ll never see his smile, hear his laugh, or face his blade ever again. I will always feel blessed to have called him my friend.”

A formal memorial service for family and friends in the many communities Jehan touched will take place sometime later in the Spring. The Barony of Endewearde’s annual ‘Jehan’s Fighting and Fencing at the Fort’ event will take place, as scheduled, on Saturday, April 19th at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect, Maine, and Jehan’s friends are welcome to attend and remember him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his memory be sent to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), Farm & Homestead Day Fund, PO Box 170, Unity, ME 04988. You can also make a gift to MOFGA on-line here.