Walter Falk
Walter Falk
  • June 5, 1927 - February 12, 2017
  • Greensboro, North Carolina

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Walter Falk was born in Karlsruhe, Germany June 5 1927, the only child in his family. His father died when Walter was two years old. Walter lived a long life through many travails - and travesties - but he found immense joy through love and commitment to his wife Ginger. Their life together was one of mutual devotion, often traveling overseas to visit friends, finding joy in the music and culture of the countries they visited. They supported and attended the Greensboro Opera, the Greensboro Symphony, and the Eastern Musical Festival throughout their lives.

It is difficult to imagine the evil that man did to man during the rise of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany. Walter's losses were close and personal. His mother perished in Auschwitz. His uncle Max - the only father figure Walter knew - died in France fighting Nazis as a private in the US Army. Walter escaped the physical persecution of the Nazis when, at age 11, his mother arranged for his emigration on the Kindertransport to England, but he couldn't escape the emotional and developmental impact of the Holocaust. Walter didn't have the benefits of parental love and guidance during his formative years. He only had the knowledge that he would never see his mother or uncle Max again. Walter didn't let this define him but he was adamant that the world not forget what happened. He told his story not to gain sympathy but so that we would understand that this terrible evil was not a fabrication and that we remain vigilant to prevent the discrimination and atrocities that led to the loss of more than 6 million lives. Walter did find great joy in life but would be the first to say "Never Forget".

When he was 17 years old, he came to the United States, where he later served in the military (stationed in Iceland) during the Korean War. After the war, Walter returned to New York, where he met and married his wife, Ginger. The couple moved to Greensboro in 1960, where Walter was employed as a regional salesman for the Lion Ribbon Company. He traveled throughout the south and Mid-Atlantic States, often with Ginger. He made friends across the country. They had no children.

Walter loved classical music and opera. He was a generous man and often invited friends to his home or a restaurant for an excellent meal and conversation. He told a good joke with an impish smile. He often began a humorous story with "Oh, I'm sure I told you this before but." and he'd launch into a tale about his childhood, or travels, or experience overseas. Walter's wife predeceased him in 2006. This was another tragic loss in his life. Over time Walter corresponded with the friends he had made over the years and kept abreast of current events with the help of Charlie Rose and PBS. Walter is remembered by his smile, his wit, and the many friends he made over a life well lived.

A graveside service will be held to honor Walter, Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 3:30 PM in the Greensboro Hebrew Cemetery.

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