Popular children's performer Eric Herman says his music success would never have happened without the support of his wife Roseann Endres.
Endres, who died Wednesday after a long illness, kept Herman on schedule, handled publicist duties, helped write some of his songs, did all the animations and graphic design for his music videos and generally managed his career.
Between all those duties, Endres also was a mother to the couple's two daughters Becca, 10, and Evee, 8.
She died at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland from a long-term auto-immune disease and a recent bout with pneumonia and rhabdomyolysis, the breakdown of muscle fibers which leads to their release into the bloodstream, harming the kidney. She was 36.
"Roseann is the whole reason I've been doing what I do for the last nine years," Herman said. "How many wives would tell their fledgling musician husband, 'You should quit your full-time job with the steady paycheck and the 401K and health insurance and play music for a living.' That was her, and she believed in me more than I did myself."
Endres co-wrote Herman's hit YouTube song, The Elephant Song, and also was the creator of the video of that song, as well as the equally popular tune Blackbeard, Bluebeard and Redbeard. Herman's videos have been seen millions of times on YouTube.
"She never considered herself to be an animator, but she was a really great director with an incredible sense of what will be effective and entertainment for children," Herman said. "She cowrote several other songs and added a lot of great jokes and humor to my songs and stage shows."
During their 13-year marriage, it always was Endres' dream to direct a kids' TV show, and she and her husband had been developing plans and money to do that when her illness first struck four years ago, he said.
"My daughters and I are going to work on a YouTube series this fall to hopefully fulfill that dream to some extent on Roseann's behalf," he said.
But first he and his daughters need time to grieve their loss. Herman canceled his Tri-City concert gigs this week, as well as next week's appearance at the Burbank library.
"But we are planning to continue performing after that, and Becca and Evee will be traveling with me," Herman said. "It will be difficult to do shows again, but I know Roseann wants that to continue, especially after putting so much of herself into it."
A memorial for Endres is at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel at 3701 Watkins Way in West Richland.