Obituary: Alfred Emil Falk

Alfred Emil Falk

Alfred Emil Falk

Alfred Emil Falk passed away on April 1, 2017, five days before his 98th birthday.

Alfred was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the fifth of six brothers. He graduated from Central High School in 1937, the same year both his parents passed away. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1942 with a B.S. degree in Engineering (Physics). Subsequently he worked for the Philo T. Farnsworth Company, developing the first generation of television sets.

He did not see combat in World War II, but rather worked under contract to the U.S. Navy developing airplane-mounted downward-looking radar, which played a major role in the Allied victory.

In 1949, during the McCarthy era, he lost his security clearance and was blacklisted from the engineering profession because of his work in progressive politics and refusal to “name names.”

He met Rhoda Corinne Goodman in New York in 1949, and they returned to Fort Wayne and married a few months later. They raised three children and remained together until Rhoda’s death in 2008.

Forced to change careers, Alfred worked in the retail furniture business from 1950 until 1987, managing and subsequently owning the Kaplan Furniture Company in Fort Wayne. Alfred and Rhoda moved to Prescott to “retire,” and spent the next 30 years in tireless service to the area’s homeless, house-bound, or otherwise less fortunate citizens, especially veterans. They were instrumental in the founding of Project Aware, Prescott People Who Care, Temple B’rith Shalom, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Yavapai College, among many other volunteer activities.

Alfred served as Board member and Administrator of Project Aware for twenty years and oversaw its substantial growth, including the development of an apartment building for formerly homeless people, now called the Alfred Falk House. In 2006, Alfred and Rhoda received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness.

Alfred is survived by his three children, Judy Russell of Prescott, Michael Falk (Darcy) of Flagstaff, Arizona, and Donald Falk of Berkeley, California; brother Edwin Falk of Phoenix, Arizona; and grandsons Keenan and David Falk.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages Alfred’s many friends in the Prescott area to donate in his name to deserving organizations dedicated to the same causes he devoted the last part of his life to, such as Project Aware, Good Samaritan Society and Prescott Meals On Wheels. Condolences may be transmitted to the family in the online guestbook at RuffnerWakelin.com.

The family is grateful to the many Prescott citizens who helped Alfred to remain independent, active, and self-sufficient until the last days of his life.

Information provided by survivors.