Earl Halvar Falk
January 30, 1924 - March 21, 2011

Earl Halvar Falk

Earl Halvar Falk
Jan 30, 1924 - Mar 21, 2011

Earl Halvar Falk
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January 30, 1924 - March 21, 2011

Earl was born in New York City to Claude and Svea Falk, immigrants to the U.S. from Sweden, and passed away in Bellevue, Washington. He lived his life with "joie de vivre," and was a positive force in the world. From his earliest years as the eldest of four children, he was determined to experience all that life has to offer. He was a hard worker who as a young boy won several contests for paper route sales. After winning his third ham radio (the standard prize), he spoke up and asked if he could have alpine ski equipment instead. His manager gladly granted Earl's wish and sent him off to Warshall's in Seattle to choose the equipment he needed. That was the start of Earl's love of skiing. He pressured his father to drive him to the Paradise Lodge where he would hike up the mountain so he could ski down it. (This was before there were lifts of any kind!) Earl continued to ski all of his life and at one point was a ski instructor for Buzz and Julie Fiorini.

Eager to serve his country during the Second World War, Earl lied about his age and at seventeen enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He became a fighter pilot and over the course of his 24-year career with the USMC, Earl flew 44 different aircraft, emergency ejecting from two! He told a great story about parachuting from the first plane when he ran out of gas on a training mission. He was literally rescued by a shepherd who was tending his sheep via a truck and found Earl walking along the side of the road. The gentleman told Earl how lucky he was because he only came into those parts of the hills once each week. It was Earl's lucky day! Between WWII and the Korean War, while stationed on the East coast, Earl earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Maryland, with a major in military science and a minor in business.

Earl was a member of The Chosin Few (aka the Frozen Chosin), survivors of a horrific 17-day battle in freezing conditions that took place in late 1950. Sixty thousand Chinese forces surrounded UN troops, of which Earl's USMC 1st Marine Division Regiment was a part. He described grizzly conditions and often said it was the most nightmarish experience of his military career. He later served as Chaplain for The Chosin Few.

Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, Earl had a second career with Aetna Insurance Company. After leaving Aetna, he started a small business - Earl H. Falk Investigations - and worked closely with several attorney clients on a variety of interesting assignments. It was a long and successful final act of his professional life.

Volunteerism and giving back were important to Earl. He served on the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club and was a committed volunteer for Northwest Harvest. He also collected eye glasses for the Lyons Club. He donated to a broad variety of charities and always expressed gratitude for the good life he enjoyed. He wanted to spread his wealth and good fortune.

During the course of his life, Earl was committed to staying in shape. He was an avid golfer, alpine skier and handball player. He was a pleasant competitor, working harder to beat his last best performance than his opponent.

Earl enjoyed a martini and a good book. In fact, he read so many books that toward his later years, he took to circling the number 100 on the 100th page of books so that when he opened them, he could remember whether or not he'd already read them. Our apologies to the King County Library System for that!

Travel was a large part of Earl's life. He visited many of the United States, driving his family cross-country as he moved from Springfield, Virginia to Tustin, California, and ventured to the beaches and golf courses of Oregon, Southern California and Hawaii. One of his favorite trips was to New Orleans. He was curious about other cultures, often sharing fond memories of his trips to Greece, Spain, Sweden, Israel, Viet Nam and Mexico.

If a Rotary speaker touched Earl, he could relate very clearly the content of the talk; he had an unusual knack for absorbing other people's stories and passing them on. In the same vein, he had a sincere interest in other people's pathways and life experiences. When he went to Israel with his wife Florine, of Jewish practice and ancestry, he read up on the history of the country and the Jews. When he went to his stepson's wedding in Hanoi, Vietnam, he took a great interest in Vietnamese culture and history. But he always kept his own identity--while visiting Hanoi, he attended a U.S. Marine Corp birthday party!

Earl was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Svea, his brother Arnold Falk (Beverly); wives Naomi Trussell, Betty Jane Falk, and Constance Cole; and granddaughters Heidi Falk and Sarah Bishop.

Earl is survived by his loving wife of 18 years, Florine Griff Falk; his sons Earl Falk Jr. (Colleen), Greg Falk (Sharon), and Eric Falk; stepsons Rand Cooley and Michael Robins (Thuy Nguyen); daughters Lisa Shanahan and Gina Harris (Randy); stepdaughters Sherry Ben Chetrit (Michael) and Rochelle Robins (Judith Bragar); grandsons Michael Falk (Kristen), Willis Cooley, Ray Cooley, Nicholas Martinez, Brayden Falk, Jason Bishop (Elana) and Ari Robins; granddaughters Merisa Martinez, Delaney Harris, Efrat Ben Chetrit and Noah Ben Chetrit; great-grandaughter Sydney Falk; and great-grandsons, Preston and Benjamin Bishop; his brother Claude Falk and his sister Eleanor Newell, along with many nephews, nieces, grand-nephews and grand-nieces.


Michael Robins on Jan 15, 2022

Still thinking of you and missing you Earl. Our hangouts, talks, and adventures were always great. We could sure swap stories! I’ll never forget how when we first met you read a book because you knew the topic was of interest to me. And I’ll always be grateful that you came to Thuy and my wedding in Vietnam. We had some great adventures , and some special walks around the lake with Rusty. Keep watching those swallows, and keep flying. Love, Michael

Charles & Betsy Kapner on Apr 16, 2011

Who knew that walking his dog, Earl would meet Florine. It was fate. Thankfully, Earl and Florine spent many happy years together. Earl was always upbeat and friendly. We will miss him, and extend our condolences to his family.

Jim Price on Apr 12, 2011

Earl was a long time member of 24 Hour Fitness and many of us enjoyed playing pickleball with him. He was an awesome player and was a friend to many of us. We have missed him for the past several years. I personally saw him many times at Rotary First Harvest packaging food to give to those less fortunate than us.

Terry Tuttle on Mar 28, 2011

Earl was one of my first claim supervisors at Aetna Casualty when I was a recent college grad with no experience in the claim business. We wasn't your normal supervisor. The others were all up tight and trying to figure out how to get ahead. Earl was laid back, always smiling and very personal. I got to play golf with him and hear a few of the fighter pilot stories. Earl was a great guy. I am very happy that I got to know him. My prayers are with you.

Howard Johnson on Mar 27, 2011

Earl was an inspiration to all of us at the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club. His contributions to feeding the hungry at Rotary First Harvest were a fine example of service to those in need in our local community.

Sheila Menti Perez on Mar 26, 2011

I had the honor of meeting Earl at Aegis of Bellevue, where my mother resides. Although I didn't know him for long he made a wonderful impression on me. I would always sit and talk to him when I would visit Mom and although he didn't respond with words he would with his eyes. They were very kind and appreciative of every small nicety.
I had no idea he led such an interesting and wonderful life. I'm sure you have many of great memories of Earl.
I was saddened to learn of his passing.
My heartfelt condolences to all that had the pleasure of knowing him.

Boyce & Charlotte Clark on Mar 26, 2011

Charlotte and I had the pleasure of meeting Earl and Florine at a variety of Marine Corps functions, such as the Chosin Few and the USMC Support Group. We enjoyed their company and we'll miss his stories and sense of humor. Semper Fidelis Earl.

Laura Plough on Mar 26, 2011

Gina and family - my sincere condolences. What a fine legacy Earl left, with such a large and loving family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

A Plush Pet (Pat & Joyce Locke) on Mar 26, 2011

Aw, that smile. That smile that was always there. Godspeed, Earl. We will miss you.

Don Larson on Mar 26, 2011

Earl will be fondly remembered as a warm friend and longtime fellow member of the NW Chapter of The Chosin Few.I and my late wife, Jeanne,were privileged to enjoy Earl and Florine's friendship for many years.He was the consummate Marine officer and gentleman and will be greatly missed by all.



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