David Norwood Falconer

June 2, 1954March 30, 2021

David N. Falconer, age 66, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2021 at his home in East Lansing. David was preceded in death by his parents, Barbara (Reisdorf) Falconer and Ralph Falconer; and sister, Caroline. He is survived by his Reisdorf and Falconer cousins, many devoted friends and dear friend, Kim McKeon.

Dave grew up in Roscommon, Michigan, and graduated from Roscommon High school. He attended the University of Texas for his freshman year, playing in the Texas Longhorn Band. He transferred to Michigan State University where he completed his undergraduate degree and was a member of the Spartan Marching Band. He then attended the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, graduating in 1980 and subsequently obtaining his US Merchant Marine Engineers license. Dave’s classmates at the Great Lakes maritime Academy remember him as a wonderful friend and a true shipmate (always to be counted on at any time).

Dave worked as an engineer for various Great Lake, river, and international shipping companies for several years, serving on a variety of vessels including Great Lakes freighters, tugboats on the Mississippi river and saltwater ships in the Caribbean. He later was employed as an engineer at the Michigan State University T.B. Simon Power Plant, where he was active in his union, serving as steward and other advisory roles. He retired from MSU in 2015.

Throughout his adult life, Dave maintained his love of music and connections with the MSU Music Department and member of the MSU Alumni band. He also performed in the DeWitt Community Band, Grand Ledge Community Band and later with the Central Michigan Area Concert Band as a percussionist.

Dave was also an avid Spartan sports fan, supporting women’s athletics. He regularly attended MSU softball and field hockey games, both home and away. Dave was also a long time MSU football and hockey season ticket holder.

Dave also enjoyed dirt track sprint car racing, attending racing events in Michigan and Indiana. He was a train enthusiast, a proud owner of a rail passenger car with the LM&M Railroad Company. He made use of Amtrak travel whenever possible.

Most admirably, Dave brought people together to make good things happen in their lives. He loved introducing various folks to each other to promote their common interests. He was a loyal friend and will be missed by many.

A celebration of Dave’s life will be held at a future date. Those wishing to honor his legacy may contribute to the Central Michigan Area Concert Band, MSU Softball or Field Hockey, or the charity of their choice (links provided below).

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, East Chapel, East Lansing.

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David Norwood Falconer

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Kathy Caldwell

April 5, 2021

Dave so sad, we had talked to him before we went to visit our children and grandchildren and we made plans to get together as we all had our vaccines. I have so many fun and funny memories of our trips together. It’s a testament to how much I loved Dave when I think of the noisy, smelly, dirty dirt track races, the visits to Amtrak repair yards in Minneapolis and St. Louis, Branson, Missouri for the oldest music from the oldest old country stars telling tasteless jokes, going to his Moms college field hockey reunion at Principia College where we thought they had run out of coke only to find out from Dave caffeine is banned by their religion, all of these times and more were uniquely Dave and made it all so special to share them with him. Cold softball, football, field hockey games, freighters, trains and our shared love of music, he was such a sweet friend to all our family, he would pick up books for our grandchildren, send us sweatshirts from a towns high school we went through and had stopped to eat Teutopolis Wooden Shoes and I and our family will miss him and think of him always. I’m not religious but I’m going to think of Dave taking long train journey with his loving Mom and sister. Have peaceful beautiful trip Dave.

Mark Johnson

April 4, 2021

So sad to hear of Dave’s passing. I knew Dave only from our dorm and with the Marching Band at Michigan State. In my Freshman year, he happened to be in the same dorm class, even though he was older.

I’ll never forget the initiation party, skit and dinner the new members (including Dave and I) threw for the rest of the dorm. He took on a leadership role and shaped an outrageously funny skit.

Dave had such an infectious sense of humor! I learned many “colorful” limericks and can vividly picture him reciting them. He’ll always live on in fond memories!


Stacey Phillips

April 3, 2021

So sad to hear of Dave’s passing.
The first time I met Dave was in my freshman year with the MSU Softball program, the fall of 1996! He was a proud supporter and fan of the program and always remembered that team! He cheered us on to the highest ranking in MSU softball history.
When I began my collegiate coaching career he then followed and supported Indiana University. Often times he’d couple a trip to watch the team play in Bloomington on the dirt track tour. I even went to the track with him! In years when I wasn’t able to join him at the track, I’d receive a care package with a track t-shirt in it!
Dave was one of the most thoughtful and caring people. I know how hard it was when his Mom, Barb, passed away. Both just so wonderful!
I’ll keep these memories with me for my lifetime.
Thinking of his family and friends during this tough time.
Stacey Phillips - MSU Softball ‘00

John Madden

April 2, 2021

My last conversation with Dave was on February 8. I had no idea he was a month and a few weeks from leaving us. I guess we never know. I am so sad. Dave was a true friend. Truest in the fact that we didn’t talk all the time, but months could go buy, and he would reconnect as if we spoke daily.

Dave was one of the first people I met when I returned to MSU in the fall of 1989. He introduced himself to me during my first SMB preseason as Director, bragging of his time in the SMB (when cymbal players had the authentic “cymbal twirl” down pat). He always had a kind and positive thing to say about the current band. Dave’s visits to Dem Field or the music building turned into an annual delivery of 35 pair of ear-plugs (from the power plant) for the SMB drummers (Dave’s way of promoting public health and good hearing protection). This gesture epitomized the kind of person Dave was, offering acts and kindness, care, and support, when nobody was watching. Dave was loyal to his friends, and his interests at his alma mater, MSU.

Dave reached out to me early on in my career at MSU and invited me to lunch one day. We went to a favorite place of his in Lansing called “Lucky’s.” We talked about the SMB, the MSU concert bands, community bands, drum corps, trains, the merchant marine, Spartan sports, and life. That tradition stuck, and we ate lunch together once a semester for nearly 3 decades. He always called ahead to schedule lunch on the calendar, I would imagine out of respect for schedules. Dave valued the importance of making time for friends. Dave wrote the book on thoughtfulness.

I will miss my friend, Dave Falconer. Luckily I have the memories of this extraordinary person, and how the paths of our lives crossed.

Rest in peace David. We will never forget you, your generosity, and your kindness.