Obituary by Susan Macdonald

John Trimble, widely hailed together with his wife BJo Trimble as creators of the write-in campaign that saved the original series Star Trek from oblivion, has passed away. He was 87.

John Trimble was a BNF: a Big Name Fan, which means in certain quarters he was widely renowned and in others it was John Who? Rather like Jack Benny’s character Joseph Tura in To Be or Not to Be (1942) who was “world famous in Poland.” If you asked the average sci-fi fan who John Trimble was, they’d probably reply, “oh, he’s Bjo Trimble’s husband.

John Trimble just died at the age of 87. He deserves to be remembered in his own right, not just as Bjo’s husband. He was a husband and a father. He and Bjo were married over sixty years. He was an Air Force veteran: thank you for your service, sir. He helped Bjo Trimble save Star Trek during the now famous letter-writing campaign of the late ’60s, without which the series would never have had a third season and would never have been syndicated subsequently. Thanks to John, there is Star Trek today.

John Trimble had been ill for some time. His death, while greatly lamented, did not come as a surprise.

john And Bjo Trimble
John and Bjo Trimble, circa 2015

John Trimble’s Role in Saving Star Trek

While Bjo gets most of the credit for the Campaign to Save Star Trek, it was really a team effort between the Trimbles. In fact, she gives him credit for sparking the idea during their drive back to Oakland after a meeting with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry near the end of TOS season 1.

In an interview with, Mrs. Trimble credited her husband with saving Star Trek from cancellation.

“The whole Save Star Trek campaign was John’s fault. We had visited the Trek set, about when word sifted down that the show would be canceled at the end of the second season. So we watched actors do their stuff beautifully in front of the camera, then slump off looking depressed. On our way home, John said, “There ought to be something we could do about this!”

Now, he’d been married to me long enough to know better. By the time we got back home, we’d mapped out a basic plan of action. So we called Gene Roddenberry to see if he was OK with this idea. Gene had just told his staff that it would be wonderful if there was just some way to reach to fans and get their support. So things began to happen. But all the news at that time was about Women’s Lib and “the little housewife speaking up,” so the news media had little interest in a businessman. Reporters focused on me instead of John. To my sorrow, John has seldom gotten even the fan credit he so well deserves for his part in making the Star Trek we know now a reality for all of fandom.”

Memory Alpha Lists John Trimble as a Canonical Character in Star Trek

According to Memory Alpha, John Trimble was a Starfleet officer in the 24th century. He was a commander in 2364. Before stardate 41547.3, according to an order sent by Admiral Kathryn Trimble of Starfleet Operational Support Services, he was to be transferred from the USS Equicon. (TNG: “Conspiracy“, okudagram)

From Family

Daughter Lara Boehm posted a farewell to her father on Facebook:

April 19th, 2024 at 5:17 am my father John G Trimble passed away.

John G Trimble

US Air Force – PFC – Korean War

John was born in the late 1930’s and grew up in Devils Lake, ND. He graduated from Poly High School in Long Beach, CA, and enlisted in the US Air Force on 5 April

1955. John attended Basic Training at Parks Air Force Base Pleasanton, CA. He reported to Edward Gary Air Force Base in San Marcos, TX, for eight weeks of helicopter mechanic school on the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaws. John was assigned to the 2157th Air Rescue Squadron, stationed at Kempo Airfield K-14 Korea for six months until the squadron was transferred to the 39th Air Rescue Squadron, Ashia Japan, for 18 months. John deployed to many locations during this assignment, including a long visit to Tainan, Taiwan. One of his best memories was when the squadron rescued visiting US Boy Scouts stranded on a mountain in Taiwan. It took multiple trips to get all hands safely home.

John returned to the US to serve at Williams AFB in Chandler, AZ. He was retrained to be an Air Operations Specialist, maintaining flight records and dispatching aircraft.

John met his wife, Betty Jo (Bjo) under a piano at Forrest J Ackerman’s mansion, a friend they met thru Science Fiction fandom. They were married in July and would have celebrated 64 years of marriage. Their 3 children, Kathryn, Lora and Jenn have been a constant joy and the addition of husband to Lora, Jason and Jenn’s husband Chris have completed the family.

In 1966 they found a group of people interested in mediaeval combat and arts. They joined the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) . John served 2 terms as a member of it’s board of directors, was a landed Baron of the first Barony. His arms were the very first to be registered with the college of Heralds and both John and Bjo have been members ever since. Later that year he said to his wife, “Gee it’s a shame a good science fiction show like Star Trek is going to be canceled. We should do something about that!” And the same Star Trek campaign was born. For over 58 years John and Bjo Trimble have been ambassadors for science fiction, the space program and the SCA. Meeting and hosting people from all walks of life, all over the world.

John has touched thousands of lives in a way that positive and full of joy. He will be greatly missed.

John and Bjo Trimble {image via the 2002 WorldCon}
John and Bjo Trimble {image via the 2002 WorldCon}

John and I organized and directed the World Science Fiction Art Show at Worldcons for many years. That show is still going strong. If not for the Trimbles, art shows might not be a staple at the average SF con. Both John and Bjo have been active in West Coast SF conventions as organizers and guests for decades. He was a Pelican in the Society for Creative Anachronism and served for years as the Baron of Los Angeles for the SCA.

John Trimble was born 17 November 1936. He passed away April 19th, 2024 at 5:19 am in hospice care in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old.

In so many aspects of popular culture and in his “regular” life, John was beloved by all who knew him as well as many who just knew of him.

Please join us in extending our comfort and condolences to the Trimble damily.

As they say on the planet Vulcan, we grieve with thee.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.