The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
On February 13, 2008, Walter Birk’s soul passed on to its next adventure after a short battle with leukemia.
Arriving in Aspen in the late 1960s with a degree in engineering, Wally found an environment that allowed his creative mind to flourish. The town was young and growing, and he quickly became involved in its lifeblood as a part owner of the Gallery nightclub. Many will remember this nightclub, as it brought rock ‘n’ roll to the town from many young musicians such as the Eagles, who later went on to great fame. Wally was a visionary, as he successfully developed several commercial properties in Aspen.
He also enjoyed Aspen’s mountain lifestyle while living in the Conundrum valley, off Castle Creek, where he and his first wife, Rosie, built one of the first solar houses in the area. Wally became well known in Aspen in that era, as he spent his time skiing, hiking, socializing and meeting the continuous flow of newcomers to town.
Wally moved to Hawaii in the 1980s and enjoyed raising his two sons, Philip and Jesse. There he built a beautiful Hawaii-style home, close to the small town of Paia, while enjoying windsurfing, golf and tennis. During this period he also traveled to Alaska for fishing trips, where he met and became friends with many of the native people of the state. In 1999 he married Sarah (PJ) Batiris and added a third son, Nick, to the family. Being the best father, husband and human being he could became the passion of his life.
Wally approached his time on earth as a “problem solver” and was always closely involved in both his family and business ventures. He enjoyed sitting down with friends and colleagues to find a way through any issue that presented itself in the quest for a goal. He also was known for his loyalty in dealing with people.
His last years were spent in Denver with his beloved wife, whom he described to friends as his soul mate. As his boys grew into lives of their own, PJ and Wally enjoyed traveling the world to learn more about the common spirituality that links us all.
He is greatly missed. Though his body is gone, his legacy of love remains.