To send flowers in memory of Carl Walter Volkwein, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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 www.beinhauer.com