Lonnie Falk Obit


(LONNIE FALK OBIT)

PROSPECT, Ky. (June 10, 2006) -- Lawrence "Lonnie" Falk, mayor of Prospect for the past 12 years, died at Jewish Hospital in Louisville. He was 63.

The family did not disclose the cause of death, but Prospect council member Harold Smith said Falk had been ill for a time.

Elected mayor in November 1993, Falk was a central figure in several battles over zoning and annexation. He also was a key figure in plans for the proposed Ohio River bridge in eastern Jefferson County.

Kristen Jordan, spokeswoman for the project, said Falk's "first priority was making sure his community was protected." He attended every meeting of the area advisory and historic preservation teams, she said.

He was also heavily involved in the city's effort to turn its sewer system over to Metropolitan Sewer District.

Falk's gift was looking to the future, Smith said.

Immediately after Falk's election as mayor, he unveiled his plan to take Prospect into the next century -- Prospect 2000, outlined in a letter to residents urging them to join committees on land use, the environment, laws and regulations, and new neighbors.

"Nothing makes people more angry than when the government does something and doesn't tell them about it," he told Louisville The Courier-Journal at the time. "I think the people out here want to participate." Looking to the future was also true in his personal life. He bought his first home computer -- a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer -- in 1980, then started a newsletter exchanging tips from other computer users.

"A computer will do anything you want it to do," he said in 1982. That same year, he quit his job as vice president for public relations at the University of Louisville to devote all of his time to his publication, The Rainbow -- a computer newsletter that had about 20,000 subscribers by 1983.

He was instrumental in setting up the city's Web site, which posted City Council minutes and ordinances, as well as other things.

Falk grew up in Mountain Brook, Ala., a Birmingham suburb, and was graduated from the University of Alabama in 1964 with a communications degree.

He was a journalist for 10 years with United Press International and also worked as a public-relations specialist before coming to U of L.

"This was the end of the world," Falk said of Prospect then. "But people moved out here because they wanted trees and the grass and the quiet."

Falk was president of the Jefferson County League of Cities for two terms and was elected its vice president this spring.

He also served on the steering committee of the Jefferson County Governance Task Force and the Horizons committee of the Kentucky League of Cities, according to the city's Web site.

Falk had a history of heart ailments. On Dec. 22, 1996, he had a heart attack and spent that Christmas recovering at his home and conducting city business by phone. "I'm overworked," he told The Courier-Journal in 1996, "but I've been overworked since age 22."

Smith said no plans had been made last night as to who will fill the post of mayor.

Falk's survivors include his wife, Willo, and two daughters, Wendy and Laurie.

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