Posted in: Essays

Remembering Wayne Karrfalt

Wayne Karrfalt was a longtime friend to those of us at Parallax View. He was working on some contributions to Parallax View when the rapid spread of cancer made it impossible for him to continue writing. We remember him with this obituary written by his wife, Hiroko.

Born in St. Louis, MO on May 24, 1966, Wayne Karrfalt passed away peacefully surrounded by his family, friends and loyal dog, Damon on December 30, 2012 at Evergreen Hospice Kirkland, WA.

The second son of Carl and Esther Karrfalt, he was one of four children – Brad, Darrell, and Kimberly.  At Michigan State University, Wayne studied literature and international travel, graduating among the top of his class and earning membership in Phi Beta Kappa. He remained a special favorite of his professors.

Wayne Karrfalt
Wayne Karrfalt

A curious and fearless fellow, Wayne always possessed the desire to explore: he studied Spanish in Spain for one semester and traveled in Europe, including England where he enjoyed attending Shakespeare plays. He expressed his passion for books, plays, art, music, and film in his professional writing. His articles and reviews appeared in many prestigious newspapers and periodicals. He served as the Tokyo correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and also wrote for the Variety Deal Memo during his stay in Japan from 1992 to 1999. After marrying Hiroko Sato—in two Tokyo weddings—Wayne moved to Los Angeles where he became a well-known freelance writer in the television and business technology fields. He also contributed articles to Multichannel News, TV Week, The New York Times, and other publications.

Wayne traveled widely in his Volkswagen bus, exploring many frisbee golf courses. He often camped inside his van, which doubled as a small movie theatre where he watched films on his computer. When Wayne and Hiroko moved to Seattle in 2004, he reunited with college friends, worked on his real golf game, and enjoyed First Friday meetings during which he loved to talk film with other writers and mentors. Originating a daily newsletter, Wayne became writer/editor for Cynopsis Digital (launched from Cynopsis Media) from 2007 until 2011. After being diagnosed with cancer, he continued to travel and cover film festivals and awards ceremonies in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Family and friends remember Wayne as optimistic and thoughtful, someone who always challenged himself and kept moving forward. Buoyed by Hiroko’s steadfast support, he found the possibility of fun and sustaining memories in even the most difficult of situations. Wayne truly treasured everyone he knew—and his friends and colleagues admired his remarkable honesty and sweetness of character.

If you’d like to make a contribution in Wayne’s memory, consider a donation to Northwest Film Forum.