April 12, 1926 - January 17, 2019
Our dear dad, grandpa, and loyal friend, Dick Falkner, 92 was reunited with his lifelong companion, Verla, on Wednesday, January 17, 2019. Dick was born April 12, 1926 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Emma and Peter J. Falkner. He grew up surrounded by his three sisters who loved and cherished him as the baby of the family. Dick was 17 when he enlisted in the Navy and entered WWII. When he came home, he worked for the telephone company and later got a job at the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. He met the beautiful and brilliant Verla Perkins on a blind date on New Year’s Eve. She was initially put off by his balding head but was won over by his thoughtfulness and sense of humor. She lived in a tiny apartment in Salt Lake and the summer heat was unbearable. One day he showed up with window cooler. It’s not clear if that’s what sealed the deal but his wooing succeeded and they married in September of 1953. Verla had a very rough childhood and the cooler was just the first of many ways that he would try to spoil her and make up for all of the years she had to struggle. Dick was a true family man who always made time for his kids. He was also the ultimate do-it-yourselfer and never called in a repairman. Whatever he was doing, he would hand you a screwdriver or tool and ask you to “help.” As children, we thought we were a valuable part of his work and it was only when we had children of our own that we realized we were a nuisance! Dick looked forward to summer vacations. Shortly after Christmas he would get out the road atlas and peruse the chosen destination. He would carefully plot out the route and discuss it with us kids-- building anticipation and desire so much that when July came we were positively out of our heads with excitement. He loved fishing and was the type of person who would rather see you reel in a big fish than catch one himself. Camping and seeing the beauty of our country was his passion. Often as you’d travel down the highway, he’d point out some distant mountains or vista with awe and wonder in his voice. Dick had a mischievous sense of humor and enjoyed riling up the neighborhood dogs and telling falsehoods to the grandkids. They could never understand why they couldn’t pop out their teeth like he could even though he coached them again and again. He loved his job and was promoted to Diesel Maintenance Supervisor. He retired after 35 years of service. He made many lifelong friends there and his employees loved him for his competent but soft-hearted style of management. Raised during the depression, Dick was an avid enjoyer of “freebies.” As one the perks of his job, he and his family got to ride free on the California Zephyr. Cruising through the Rockies in the dome cars and enjoying the elegance of the dining car were special times that he was proud to share with his family. They also had a chance to see how the railroad employees respected and adored their dad. Despite his failing body, he never neglected to express his love to his family and his appreciation for their visits and care. He also enjoyed the companionship of his dog, Sparky. He was especially grateful to his daughter Lori for spending many hours every day with him the last few weeks of his life. She was his personal nurse, advocate, cheerleader, and companion. He was also grateful for his nurse aid at Legacy House, Destiny Simmons, who really made him feel loved and valued. Preceded in death by his wife, parents, siblings, son Rick and grandson Benjamin. Survived by Lori (Rick) Heaton, Brad (Judi) Falkner, Alane (Bill) White; and grandchildren, Nathan, Jacob, Jessica, Annie, Katie, Adam, Rachel, Jack and great-grandchildren, Jamieson and Oliver. We are so grateful for the love and kind words from all of our friends and neighbors concerning Dick’s passing. The family is honoring Dick’s wonderful life at a private luncheon. Friends are welcome to leave memories on the online guestbook, visit an old person in your life, or make a donation to the American Heart Association.
Our dear dad, grandpa, and loyal friend, Dick Falkner, 92 was reunited with his lifelong companion, Verla, on Wednesday, January 17, 2019. Dick was born April 12, 1926 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Emma and Peter J. Falkner. He grew up surrounded... View Obituary & Service Information
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