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Walter Stael


1930 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Walter Stael Obituary
Walter Stael (Stael von Holstein)

June 29, 1930 - April 1, 2015

Walter Stael was born in Peking, China. His father, Alexander Stael von Holstein, Professor of Central Asian Philology at Harvard University, spent most of his academic career in China. Walter's mother, Olga Grave and his father were married in Peking, where Walter was born. The family was forced to flee China in 1948 when the Chinese Communists moved to take over Peking. His father had died earlier in 1937 just before the Japanese occupied Peking.
Walter served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War in stateside duty. He did his undergraduate years at UCLA and his Masters Degree in Library Science at USC in Southern California. He subsequently was on the teaching and administrative staff of the US Department of Defense Language Institute in Montery, California for many years. He spoke Russian, German and French. For a time he was married to Olga Baggehufwudt.
Walter had a very good sense of humor, was liberal in his political views, and was a good companion and friend. We miss him very much.
He leaves his sister Marie Staelvon Holstein of St. Helena, California; his nephews Alex W. Gansa (Lauren White) their son William of Los Angeles, California, Andrew Gansa (Sarah Richards) their sons Luca and Lorenzo of Calistoga, California, and Charles Gansa (Pumpkin Louise Wentzel) their daughter Poppy and their son Tom of Brooklyn, New York. Written by his former brother-in-law and friend, Alex Gansa. Our thanks to Olga Guerrero, Michelle and family for his care in the last years of his life. A memorial service is planned for him at St. Francis of the Mountains Chapel at Fallen Leaf Lake, California this summer. Please donate to the in his name if you are so inclined.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 15, 2015
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