Bob Dron, 1955-2023

Bob and Jon Dron, circa 1965
Me, my brother Bob, and my rabbit (I think its name was Easter Bunny) in our garden in Hamble, I guess around 1964 or thereabouts. I don’t know why Bob is standing in a basket.

My beautiful, witty, talented brother Bob died unexpectedly in his sleep a week ago today. He was 67. I still cannot find the words to express the loss. From the day I was born Bob was always there, and he remains a huge part of me. He was variously my role model, my confidante, my advisor (seldom a wise one), my entertainer, my friend, my co-conspirator, my collaborator, my flatmate, my burden, my rock, my protector, my teacher.  As a child, almost everything Bob ever did I had to do too, and anything Bob had I had to have too. There was barely a moment that mattered that didn’t have Bob in it. A thousand different vignettes play out in my mind every day, a thousand trivial and momentous moments, a thousand times he changed my life.

Bob walked gently on the world, often drifting a little to its side and sometimes not quite in it. That world is an emptier, sadder place without him.

A picture of a guitar as the seat of a swing, by Bob Dron
Swing Guitar, by Bob Dron, circa 1984. I started to play the guitar because of Bob. We used to jam a lot together and for a couple of years in the early 1980s we formed a duo, playing a weekly gig in a wine bar in Brighton, near to where we shared a flat. He drew this for my birthday because he never had any money to buy me anything. I still have that guitar.


I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

9 Comments on Bob Dron, 1955-2023

  1. Dave says:

    Sorry to hear that Jon. I remember him.

    1. Jon Dron says:

      Thanks Dave – it is comforting that he lives in our memories.

  2. Su White says:

    Such a touching tribute Jon, I feel the sorrow of your loss – but in some ways, it is clear, he will always be with you. Heartfelt condolences Su W

    1. Jon Dron says:

      Thank you Su

      We had been a continent apart for many years but he was and remains very present in my life.

      1. Peter Wilkinson says:

        I played with Bob for several years in a Bridport band called Sketchy Dog. Fortunately he left his basket at home whenever we played gigs. Will miss his Mutley smile and sardonic wit.

        1. Jon Dron says:

          Yup, those things.
          I found a picture of your band at with Bob standing in the background, focused on the keyboard in a very characteristic pose. Indeed, there was no sign of a basket.

          1. Laura Dron says:

            Bob tried to stay right on the edge in the shadows with Sketchy until Leon managed at one point to persuade him firmly to be in centre for a few gigs at least – hoping to make eye contact I think for cues! I managed to include one of those photos, where you can actually see him, in the funeral photo slideshow. I have a few Sketchy videos I’m adding to big long video I’m making.

  3. Ruth Briercliffe says:

    Hi Jon, sad not to see you at the funeral, we will all miss him forever, he was Digs beloved stepdad, he was Lukes lovely dad, my dear muse and friend ❤️

    1. Jon Dron says:

      Thanks Ruth,
      it was good to be able to see the video stream – quite beautiful – but I was very sorry not to be able to be there in person. I miss him so much.

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