Carl Volkwein

Carl Walter Volkwein

Friday, July 22nd, 1938 - Friday, June 7th, 2019
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Carl Walter

Retired Chief Executive Officer of Volkwein Brothers Music Store, died of complications due to cancer on June 7, 2019, at Allegheny General Hospital. He was 80 years old.
Volkwein- who supplied musical instruments to local school children for generations—was a member of the city’s old guard of notable names. His store is Pittsburgh’s music legacy cornerstone, with a history that begins when his grandfather Rudolph and Great Uncle Jacob “started the instrument retailer, in succession to the Bechtel Music Store in 1905,” according to the Pettruci Music Library. Over the years, store visitors have included Tommy Dorsey, Victor Borge, Leonard Bernstein, Bon Jovi, and Chicago.
“He did a lot of things behind the scenes,” said Richardson. She recalled one time when an Amish school lost everything due to flooding. “Dad donated instruments to the school, and the children wrote him a thank you. The Amish teacher delivered it to the store himself.”
Donaldson, a schoolteacher in Texas, said he did the same for a class in Fort Worth School District after hearing how dilapidated their recorders were. “He replaced them all,” she said.
Most of his acts of philanthropy were anonymous, said Richardson.
Friends remember Volkwein to be a funny and intelligent man, with a quick wit flavored with dashes of sarcasm that would surely make everyone laugh. After retirement, Volkwein dedicated a great deal of time to his passion: model railroads. He was especially proud of one building in his village. A friend constructed a model sized Volkwein’s Music Store that was identical to the Sandusky Street structure. Volkwein’s gentle nature showed through with his great love of animals, which he shared with his children. Most of all, he was a devoted family man, who loved his three girls and family deeply.
Volkwein was son of the late Carl Rudolph “Pop” and Margaret Volkwein. He was also preceded in death by his beloved wife and high school sweetheart Joan ”Tipi” (Steck) Volkwein; and was the loving father of Allison (Ed) Richardson, Pamela Donaldson, and Patricia Volkwein; grandfather of Miranda Brinkley, Kevin Bankes, Rose Donaldson, and James “Woody” Donaldson; great grandfather to three great grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements by BEINHAUERS. Friends and Family are welcome at 2828 Washington Rd., McMurray 724-941-3211 on Tuesday 2-4PM & 6-8PM, where a funeral service will be held on Wednesday 10:30AM. Interment to follow in Forest Lawn Gardens. Please add or view tributes at

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Beinhauer - Peters Township
    2828 Washington Road
    McMurray, PA 15317
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Beinhauer - Peters Township
    2828 Washington Road
    McMurray, PA 15317
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 | 10:30am
    Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 10:30am
    Beinhauer - Peters Township
    2828 Washington Road
    McMurray, PA 15317
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Forest Lawn Gardens
    3830 Washington Road
    CANONSBURG, PA 15317
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Michele Smythe

Posted at 11:24am
You were a second Dad to me. You know how I feel because I tell you all the time and will continue to talk with you. Words cannot seem to express my deep appreciation for you. We grieve deeply for the loss of you and anticipate the joy of seeing you again. Love & appreciate you, love & appreciate your family. Michele

Henry Yoder

Posted at 05:04pm
I have been honored to work as an Information Technology Consultant at Volkweins Music for the last several decades. I always found Mr. Volkwein to be pleasant, kind, and ready to engage. His attributes permeated both his family, and his business. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Volkwein family. My heartfelt sympathies to the Volkwein family at the lost of their patriarch. Wishing you God's blessings and peace. Henry Yoder

Mauren King

Posted at 12:39pm
Dear Volkwein Family. I am so sorry for your loss, may you find comfort in the words recorded in John 5:28,29 where Jehovah God through his son Jesus Christ promises to bring back our dead loved ones! Then people everywhere will be able to live as Jehovah God purposed for them to live ——- forever in perfect health. Hope this brought you comfort, for more please visit

Jennifer E.

Posted at 08:29pm
I was one of probably hundreds of students that visited Volkwein’s when learning an instrument. I loved to go to the store to buy reeds and dream about an upgrade to my student clarinet. When I inherited a beautiful wood clarinet, Volkwein was the place to go to learn about it. Carl will forever live in my memories.

Bentley Family

Posted at 02:43pm
Our condolences to the Volkwein family. Many children learned to love musical instruments due to generosity of the Volkwein Music Store. Such love and generosity! May the promise at John 5:28, 29 give you, peace, comfort and hope.

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