Johannes Wolfgang Falke, 84, of Fairbanks, Alaska, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 22, 2023. He was born May 6, 1938, in Chemnitz, Germany (aka Karl Marx Stadt) to Walter and Helene of Frankfurt, Germany. He was the oldest of three siblings.
During the war (Word War II) they moved to Wustensand. Shortly thereafter, their house in Chemnitz was destroyed when it was hit by a bomb. At the age of 14, Wolfgang decided to flee to his aunt and uncle in Frankfurt. He finished school and completed a three-year apprenticeship as a retail salesman while he worked as a representative for Marlay. Wolfgang then studied world trade for two years and then spent a year in New York with a friend. While in New York they worked at a VW auto shop, bought a VW camper, then traveled the Pan Americana for a year.
Afterward, Wolfgang returned to Germany and married the love of his life, Erika, in January 1966. They immediately moved to New York City, where Wolfgang worked on Wall Street. In 1968, they took a trip across the United States in search of the ideal place to start a family. They found their home in the heart of Fairbanks, Alaska, where they raised five beautiful children. Wolfgang joined the Teamsters Union and helped with the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline. Once the pipeline was complete, he remained in the Teamsters running heavy equipment and eventually becoming a fuel truck driver, which he did until retirement. Wolfgang was always very passionate about politics and the rights of the people from "big" government. He enjoyed speaking on the radio and writing letters to the editor. He also enjoyed telling stories of his life experiences, he could talk for hours.
Wolfgang is survived by his five children, Stefan Falke (Kristin) of Denver, Andrea Falke (Dietmar) of Ulm, Germany, Christoph Falke (Lynette) of Fairbanks, Eleonore Waller (Brandon) of Fairbanks, Jennifer Holt (Dan) of North Pole and his 16 grandchildren. Wolfgang was preceded in death by his grandson, Shjon Ethan, and his wife, Erika.
A celebration of life is planned for Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Birch Hill Assembly Hall from 2-4:30 p.m. Light refreshments and drinks will be served with an open mic for everyone to share their favorite Wolfgang stories.
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