― Simon Van Booy
To tell the story, we need to chronicle the personal journey of founder Roy Moëd. Like many entrepreneurs, Roy held no less than 29 jobs before he began what would become a hugely successful business. That business wasn’t a personal autobiography service–not even close. It was an airline catering service.
In 1978, self-described “serial entrepreneur” Roy would start the humble beginnings of his airline catering business in a simple stable. But his ideas were far from simple. He had an eye for creating new markets, re-engineering businesses, and utilizing technology in ways others didn’t. Back in the days of dial-up internet, Roy used floppy disks and computers to leverage an electronic catalog and order processing system. The business was booming and the company was growing at a rapid pace.
Roy faced the ups and downs of the industry head-on. Among unpredictable changes and challenges, he continued to adjust, adapt, and innovate through the turbulence. The modest small business born in a stable had matured into a thriving enterprise. Life was good.
Fast forward to June of 2002, when Roy was still running the business but also dealing with the personal struggles of two aging and ailing parents. His mother was in assisted care and it became evident she was nearing the end of her life. His father, also in assisted care, had lost his eyesight due to battling macular degeneration for many years.
Roy’s father, Jules, was now 86. Roy took his father out to lunch, but it ended up being a harrowing and heartbreaking experience. Jules would tell the same story three times, and Roy found himself frustrated and feeling helpless. Jules also relayed that he felt depressed and as if he had nothing to contribute to life any longer. What could Roy do?
That’s when he used his keen ability to re-engineer, not a business, but the situation with his dear father. Roy met with his longtime assistant Kathy, and together they forged a plan that little could either one predict at the time, would become life-changing. Life-changing not only for Roy but for thousands of others.
In order to help Jules feel comforted, needed, and treasured, Roy would have Kathy visit with his dad weekly. But this wasn’t just about loneliness or companionship. This was an opportunity for Jules, through a neutral third party, to relive and reminisce, to speak to a captive audience, and to have meaning in his life once again. There was no judgment, no pressure, and no frustration.
An unexpected but priceless byproduct was positive brain stimulation for Jules, which literally helped slow the progression of his cognitive decline. All along, Kathy was recording it all, the writings of which Roy was going to turn into a book of his father’s life.
But life had its own plans. Roy’s parents passed away on November 2002, just six days apart. At that point, only approximately 35 pages of Jules’ narrative had been documented. The manuscripts would be tucked away as mementos of a life lived, loved, and lost.
After three decades of piloting the airline catering venture, in 2007, Roy sold the business. But he wasn’t exactly retiring, as the new owner asked Roy to stay involved as a mentor, which Roy did for several years. Within the role of mentor, Roy contributed his expertise but also gained so much knowledge in return.
By 2010, Roy was experiencing an introspective calling to do something meaningful…to give back. It was at this time when Roy would first read the unfinished composition of his dad’s legacy, and that is when the epiphany took place.
In 2011, Roy completed and printed the life book about his dad. And soon thereafter, the UK company LifeBook was born so Roy could provide the preservation of legacy to others–a unique personal autobiography, as told through the words and voice of the elderly loved one–a life-changing autobiographical journey.
The seeds of a passion project have blossomed into numerous personal autobiographical memoirs–life stories enjoyed in book format by thousands. Corporate versions were then also developed for founders, families, and employees to own. In 2019, the U.S. subsidiary of LifeBook Ltd, Private Autobiography Service, Inc. and the new brand LifeTime Private Autobiography™ was established. And with that, the story never ends. It transcends generations and lives on…tenderly, timelessly.