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1933 - 2013 |  Obituary | Condolences
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May 04, 2015

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May 04, 2015

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Memories and Condolences
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Faulstich Pages (92)
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October 6, 2013
The Glerums and the Faulstichs go way back. Dad and Jim were in the Army together, in the mid fifties, in Germany. They were spies! Actually, a bit less exciting, they were interpreters. Dad had learned Romanian, courtesy of the US Army Language School, and Jim German. As surely there was ten times more German stuff to be translated, I always picture Dad doing the daily crossword – hopefully the Romanian one, at least – while Jim actually worked.

A few years pass, they – Gretchen, Jim, Nancy, Rolf – come back to the states, to Seattle, Bellevue, Portland, Salem, Mercer Island. We had many family outings, Easters, birthdays, and such, with Rob, Julie, and Clairann. The Faulstichs are my god parents! Being a child of the seventies, I had a bit of trouble figuring this out, insofar as ‘godfather' had been completely subsumed by Mario Puzo. You can be sure that over the years – the decades – Jim would make certain that my moral upbringing was on track. No godson of his would stray.

I studied at the University of Washington, affording me a few more opportunities to see Jim and Gretchen. I don't remember the first time, driving down West Mercer Way, that I missed the turn into their driveway, but I can probably remember a dozen other times I missed it. It's just perched right up on that rolling corner, you can see it in your mind's eye, but maybe we've gone too far? Did we miss it? I think over 30 years, I'm probably at about 50/50.

I have an anecdote, which everyone here will see as pure Jim Faulstich. In college, I drove an MGB, a British two-seater, about as unreliable as you can imagine. It had an idiosyncrasy: you could unbolt a retaining bracket around the gearshift lever, and it would just pop right out. I used this as a security measure: even if you hotwired the car, well you couldn't put it in gear. So one time I'm out the Faulstichs, on Mercer Island – having found the driveway – and at the end of the evening, I say my thank-yous, and head out to my car. The gearshift is missing, so I reflexively reach under the seat for it. It's not there, so I get out to access the alternate security location, the trunk. In these couple of seconds I'm thinking it's a bit odd I had stashed it as such, insofar as Mercer Island not being a hotbed of crime. It's then, of course, that I see Jim over in the shadows, holding the gearshift, giggling like an eight-year-old.

I have one more anecdote, a longstanding piece of Glerum/Faulstich lore. For this one, we have to jump, some 50+ years, back to Germany. They're in town, Dad is driving, Jim is in the passenger seat. Somebody cuts Dad off, so he says, “quick, give me a German swear word”. German, of course, being renowned for its obscenities, and Jim being – unsurprisingly – a connoisseur, he immediately recites a mouthful of syllables. Dad leans his head out the window, and – being a linguist after all – dutifully and loudly recites them. Whoosh, everything ceases. Traffic stops, frauleins faint, birds fall from the sky. All heads turn, mouths wide, to stare at this impudent American serviceman. Because of my impeccable moral upbringing – due in no small part to my godfather – I never asked for a recollected translation, which of course I wouldn't have gotten anyway. Perhaps St. Peter remembered, and brought it up at the Pearly Gates.

Jim Faulstich was one of the greatest men I've ever known. Always good spirited, unflaggingly optimistic, ready willing and capable to engage on any topic, any time. Thank you Jim, for all you did for me, for my family.
October 5, 2013
Julie & Rob, I remember your wonderful dad when you lived in Elmhurst. I am sorry for your loss.
October 5, 2013
My wife, Marie, and I met Jim and Gretchen in 1979 when Jim became president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. At that time, I was president of the Federal Home Loan of Boston. In all the years that followed, Jim and Gretchen have been dear friends and consummate professionals.

Jim and I had a common bond in our interest in affordable housing efforts and worked together for many years with The Neighborhood Housing Services of America, The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation(NeighborWorks) and the Social Compact.

Jim was always at the center of anything new and challenging if it offered opportunity. He never said no to an invitation to help and he always produced at the highest levels.

As a friend, he was jovial, supportive, thoughtful and always fun to be with. One of our great treasures is a CD of Jim's marvelous renditions of his favorite songs and hymns.

Gretchen, of course, was always at his side, a partner in every sense of the word. She and Jim will be forever linked in our memories and in our hearts.

Marie and I thank God for the pleasure and privilege of having them in our lives. We offer our sympathies to their family and friends. Their loss is a great one and we share it with them.

Most sincerely,

Marie and Ray Elliott
October 4, 2013
Where to begin?

The only way to start this difficult journey is to talk about memories. The Faulstich family and the Glerum family go back to the time – 1956 – even before there were these two families. Jim and I first met in Frankfurt, Germany, where we were both linguists in the Army Security Agency, he in German, I in Romanian. That was the beginning of these marvelous memories.

Travel forward a few months, past Jim and Gretchen's marriage, past my marriage to Nancy on that ridiculously hot day in Frankfurt, past our respective discharges from the army and our return to civilian life.

And then the memories take on a completely new direction, with the Faulstich's move to Salem . . . and the births of Robert, Julie and Clairann – paired with those of the two Glerum boys, Eric and Kirk. And now we're talking about REAL memories – dozens of holidays and birthdays spent together, swimming, camping, traveling, just enjoying one another's company. The sweetest of memories, those.

And now back to those family memories I spoke of at the beginning. Second generation marriages, grandchildren, anniversaries, civic involvement, politics, opera, travel to Africa . . . and on and on.

The memories keep flooding back, no matter the place or the time. There are so many that have accumulated over the last 57 years that they would fill volumes. But this gathering won't hear them, because most are too private, too intimate and, yes, too special to be heard outside our two families. Let us leave it at that.

One of Jim's favorite games was to hear a word or two in conversation that reminded him of a melody, whereby he'd break into song with that rich baritone of his and hold forth either in German or English.

So to Jim, Gretchen, Robert, Julie and Clairann, from the Glerums, we say “Thanks for the Memories.”

Hey, Jim . . . good name for a song!

Lovingly,

The Glerum Families
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