I was shocked and saddened to open my e-mail this evening and find this message from Michele Cobb, president of the Audio Publishers Association:
We are sad to report that Kate Fleming, award-winning audiobook producer and narrator passed away Thursday, December 15, after being trapped in her flooded basement studio. She was a proud member of the audiobook community and will be greatly missed. We offer condolences to her loved ones, colleagues at Cedar House Audio and to all of the members who worked with and were inspired by Kate. Information regarding where you may send condolences will be forthcoming.
Michele Cobb, APA President
APA Board of Directors
I was privileged to meet Kate at an APA conference a few years ago. I remember her as a smart, kind and funny person who generously shared her knowledge with others. She impressed me that day with her precision in pronunciation, and I frantically took note of the various dictionaries that she mentioned using in her work. She was a shining role model to me as she excelled as both a narrator and a producer. Words are inadequate to describe her loss not only to the audiobook industry but to the world.
I found an article in the Seattle Times that provides more details about Kate Fleming’s illustrious background and this tragedy, which actually occurred on Thursday, 14 December.
I have experienced loss in my life, and I send my deepest empathy to Kate’s partner, family and friends during this dark time.
Christine Lankford says
I went to school with Kate Fleming. We graduated together from TC Williams High School in Alexandria, VA in 1983 (there were ~825 students inour graduating class). Although I did not know Kate well, we certainly knew of each other through our mutual friend, Kitten (Kathryn)Guimbellot. I believe Kate and Kitten were best friends. Kate was a great talent at our school. She starred in Hello Dolly (of course, as Dolly) and I enjoyed seeing her in that production as well as in Jesus Christ Superstar. Kate had an amazing singing voice. It carried without a microphone into the depths of the enormous high school theatre crowd. I was deeply saddened when I read about her death. I wished I could have been there to help her and still today cry when I think about how calm she was, how brave, how great is her partner’s loss and how much she is missed and always will be. I will not see her at our 30th high school reunion in 2013. I hope Kitten will be and I will ask her to tell me more about Kate. Kate was also an honors student, but anyone that has seen or heard her works would not be surprised by that.
Lastly, I will say that I plan to look up her audiobooks and listen to them. I want her life’s work to mean something to me personally. I do not want to forget what she did while she was here and I certainly will never forget her great smile and talent.
Hi, Christine. Thank you for sharing your wonderful and touching memories of Kate with me. Even though we miss a person’s physical presence, their spirit lives on forever. I’m sure she would be pleased that you continue to honor her memory by talking about her and listening to her books.
Best wishes always.