When we remember Bob Deyan, we should remember him as he would have liked to be remembered… not with heavy hearts, discouraged by the ALS that brought this big-hearted man down, but rather with a smile on our faces for the smile Bob always had for us, a gleam in the eye with his unfailing sense of humor, and an awed respect for the devotion he gave to his audiobook family – all of us.
Since 1990, Bob and Debra Deyan of Deyan Audio have been at the heart of the industry, producing audiobooks, skillfully editing titles recorded elsewhere (often under less-than-ideal conditions), and handling every aspect of the audio recording process for over 12,000 titles over the years. Bob made friends wherever he went, as the outpouring of love at the 2013 Audies Gala showed, as publishers, narrators, and fellow producers paid tribute to the Deyans with a Special Achievement Award.
Bob’s energy and enthusiasm never flagged after his diagnosis, even as his body deteriorated. He became a staunch advocate and fundraiser for ALS research and support organizations, inspiring friends to create the first-ever Audiobook Marathon, featuring 25 hours of straight (if not always serious) narration. He came up with the idea of a Billion for Bob to raise funds for ALS research, and his friends and colleagues have risen to Bob’s call to act, including many ice bucket challenge tributes to Bob over the past few weeks.
Bob’s legacy will live on in the Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology, a learning center which will provide the training, tools, and discipline to enrich and nurture artists who are committed to the development of the audiobook art form, and their own artistic growth.
Bob himself said that none of this would have been possible without the love of his life by his side. And so our hearts are with Debra Deyan. We thank her for helping Bob’s vision come true, for growing the business that is such an important part of the audiobook world, and for taking such good care of Bob.
A memorial service for Bob is being planned for Saturday, September 27th at 11 a.m. (at the Shepherd of the Hills Church in Porter Ranch, CA). The upcoming APA West Coast mixer is planned for October 5th at the Deyan’s Northridge location. We look forward to seeing many of you at one or both to remember our friend.
Bob will be missed… and never forgotten.
— Michele Cobb, APA President