Captain Rudolph F.
Falkenstein, U.S. Navy (Ret), died on October 16, 2018 after a long illness, surrounded by his family. He
was born in Shenandoah, PA on June 5, 1928.
At age 14, Rudy entered Valley Forge
Military Academy on a full musical scholarship and graduated in 1946, after which he entered the Navy in a special post-war
Flight Midshipmen Program. After two years of study at Temple University he went on active duty for naval
flight training at Pensacola, FL. In 1950 he was designated a Naval Aviator and commissioned as an Ensign.
He then served in positions of increased responsibility, including completion of undergraduate work at Penn State University,
and was promoted through the ranks to Captain in a total of 32-½ years of service. Also, he attended
both the Naval War College and the Army War College, where he was also a faculty member and Senior Naval Representative to
Captain Falkenstein was a longtime member of the former Allison United
Methodist Church where he chaired every formal committee, was a church representative at annual conference in Central PA and
taught an adult Sunday School Class for many years. He held long time memberships in St. John's Masonic
Lodge #260 (32nd Degree), both the Association of the U.S. Navy and the Association of the U.S. Army, and the Military
Officers Association of America. In addition, he was a 50+ year member of the Naval Institute.
He was an avid golfer
and being a plank owner in the Mon-Wed-Fri Golf Group at Carlisle Barracks enriched his life with lasting friendships that
brought him much joy.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Gwendolyn (Fenicle) Falkenstein; three sons: CDR Rudolph
F. Falkenstein II, USN Ret (Nora) of California, MD, Dr. Gerald P. Falkenstein, LTC USA Ret (Vicki) of Beaver, PA, and Ronald
J. Falkenstein (Carla) of Charlotsville, VA; a daughter, Judith A. Caldwell (John) of Elizabethtown, PA; eleven grandchildren,
fourteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild; and one sister, Mae Philipps of New Holland, PA.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Grace Campbell.
A memorial service
is planned for Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Carlisle United Methodist Church on West Pomfret Street in Carlisle
with the Rev. James VanZandt officiating. There will be a luncheon following the service. Burial
will be at the convenience of the family. Memorial gifts may be made to the Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown,
PA, attention the Children's Division; or the Shriner's Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 1510, Ranson, WV 25438-4510.
Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, Carlisle is in charge of the arrangements.
Click here to send a condolence
I am so sad to learn of the loss of Rudy, but am so
thankful my parents and I could call him our friend for so many years. In addition to being a wonderful husband and
father, he truly was a great American, Sailor, golfer and story teller. He was loved and will be missed by so many people.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Gwen and the family. God Bless You Captain and thank you for all that you did for your family,
friends and country during your time on earth.
SFC (Ret) Bob Fravel & Family
Rudy, you were a fine man to know and I will miss our conversations
at the golf course. Your watch is over. Rest in peace my friend.
Gwen, I am so sorry to read of your husband's
death. My sincerest sympathy to you and his family. It is heartbreaking to lose one you love, but with God's blessings,
you will do fine. His presence will be with you always.
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