Friday, October 28, 2016

In Memoriam - Deb Walker

I was going to report on my current work, but I received news yesterday that a dear friend of mine, Deb Walker, passed away.  I’m a bit numb and still trying to process.  I rushed over to her Facebook page and saw that this video was the last thing she posted.  I'd never heard of this group, but it is so very Deb. Please take a moment to watch, and smile and maybe even laugh:

I met Deb years and years ago on the now defunct James Randi Educational Foundation forums.  I’d gone there looking for some help on an alternative history timeline for a story I was considering, but have never written.  I never actually met Deb in real life, or even heard her voice, but we spoke almost every day for years, trading one-liners and having deeper discussions over IMs.

Deb was one of my most faithful supporters, but she didn’t blindly follow anyone.  She had a quick wit, and a sharp mind.  She questioned a lot, and woe to the person who came at her with a faulty premise or poor evidence.

Deb didn’t suffer fools gladly, or really at all.  She didn’t have time for that, and I think she was right.  Like me, Deb suffered chronic pain—it was something we bonded over and discussed from time to time.  So it makes sense that she wasn’t willing to put effort into people who gave her nothing back.  In that way, it was something of an honor if she considered you a friend.  If Deb took time out to talk to you, to comment on your posts or read your book, then she thought you had something worthwhile.

The Battleaxe in her natural environment.
I was flipping through our last conversation and I’m simply floored by it.  Deb wanted to bounce an idea she had for a story off me, and we chatted about it at length.  She loved World of Warcraft, and was inspired by it.  An idea had struck her, but she was concerned it was “stealing” from her beloved game.  We had a very good conversation about how her riff on the concept would be original, even if it was inspired by WoW.  

I'm already regret not getting to read her writing, or cheer with her at its publication.

Deb and I talked artwork for book covers and her kids (whom she loved deeply) and more.  A conversation with Deb was always involved and could roam around on many subjects at the same time.  You had to be quick to keep up with Deb.  She considered herself a "battleaxe" but she really was a soft-hearted and kind soul.  She was concerned about the world around her, and the pattern of history, and how people treated each other.

Deb’s loss has really highlights the short time we have on this planet, and the vast impact people can have, and can go on having.  I’ve “met” a number of wonderful people like Deb through similar interactions, and I really do cherish them.  Their influence on me, even though we’ve never met in real life, only underlines their importance.  If you're reading this, you're probably one of those people—thank you very much for taking the time, and for being part of my life.  Any that I’ve lost touch with is certainly cause for grief.  

Our flames only burn for a limited time, and then we’re gone.

Thanks for reminding me of that Deb.

I miss you already.


  1. I'm sorry for the loss, Rob. Thanks for sharing Deb with us.

  2. That was beautiful Rob. Deb will be sorely missed here too.

  3. I'm Deb's sister and I've heard her speak of you. Thank you for having so much respect for my sister. My heart is so broken that it's a bit hard to make sense right now, but I deeply appreciate her friends honoring her the way you have with your words. I considered my sister a wordsmith - my brilliant baby sister. I already feel her loss in such a profound way and I am utterly beholden to you for your wonderful words about her. I know it would mean everything to her....Barbara Reynolds

  4. Thank you so much for writing this. My mother would be so touched. <3