According to Dodd Vickers’ always informative The Magic Newswire and a bulletin from Alan Watson, Mr. Falkenstein’s death was due to advanced Alzheimer’s disease after a very brief stay in a nursing facility.
Mr. Vickers has included a heart-breaking note from a friend of the great performer. Apparently Mr. Falkenstein suffered for years as the disease took his memory and memories. Mr. Falkenstein hid his illness through feigned recollection of people and events. Less than two weeks ago, Mr. Falkenstein was unable to recognize even a close friend and could no longer hide the true state of his health.
Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease that causes pain to so many in addition to the patient. So many families have been affected by this unrelenting, wasting attack on that which we as humans treasure most, our memories.
We add our prayers to those offered around the world for Mr. Falkenstein’s family and loved-ones. We met him and the beautiful Frances Willard after one of their performances. He was gracious and incredibly charismatic. He withstood our fusillade of effusive praise as if it was the first time he had heard such compliments from a fan within or outside of the magic community.
We will post information about any memorial service or preferred charity for donations in Mr. Falkenstein’s name.