Wendy Knuth Author of Moore Zombies, blogging about the human experience.

Daily Archives: May 19, 2022

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In Memoriam: My Brother

Karl Wahlberg, Wendy Wahlberg, Martha Wahlberg

I am so sad to announce the passing of my brother, Karl Wahlberg.  4-17-1968 to 4-26-2022.

He was my childhood partner in crime, mad genius, excelled in Karate, taught me some good-to-know fighting skills, and probably saved my life a time or two.

My fav pic of us! Karl Wahlberg & Wendy Wahlberg circa 1975

Karl grew up in San Diego and graduated from Mesa Community College and was quite the braniac.  During the years preceding the internet, there were dial up bulletin boards and Karl was a systems operator (Sysop) for a bulletin board or two that he personally managed, and frequented many others.

He helped me and my best friend with math in school, and I will never know the extent of his programming knowledge except to say his most recent neighbor exclaimed that what my brother had forgotten about Linux was more than he would ever hope to learn. What a wonderful compliment!

Karl Wahlberg circa 1986

Even with his more than proficient skills in computer science, Karl was keen early on to get off the grid. He bought books such as “How to Live Off 4 acres”. He saved, and then he executed that plan.  In today’s landscape this is becoming common, but back then it was not a fad. There was no internet to research and yet he made it happen.

Early living off the grid involved buying 5 acres in New Mexico where he was able to pirate satellite, haul water, and play with early solar panels and battery systems.  I always told him he was either a mad genius or a crazy man with his $20 yearly tax bill, no mortgage, and no other bills save for food, water, and gas.

While the rest of us were living the rat race, my brother enjoyed his beautiful night skies and daily duties of perhaps an early 1900’s settler, except for managing websites and the coding thing.

From Left to Right: Karl Wahlberg, Martha Wahlberg, Christopher Knuth, Branden Knuth, Wendy Knuth (Wahlberg), Dwight Wahlberg circa 2016

He did complain that piracy of the airwaves became increasingly difficult and ended up having to pay for satellite services.

Karl was definitely an apple off the tree.  He and our father looked alike, thought alike, and ended up living along the same lines.

My father, Dwight Wahlberg, who was also quite the genius, went to live with my brother after his previous engineering work for top tech companies of the day, having eschewed that type of hard work and excellent pay, and very happily so. He passed in 2017 and his death was devastating, but even more so for my brother.

While Karl died way too young, it would be a much sadder story to say he was a cubicle rat who died before ever realizing dreams of retirement.

Wendy Wahlberg & Karl Wahlberg

My take-away is that there is a fine line between a CEO of a billion dollar company and the genius of those who seek a simpler life in nature. Please look for and find the genius in the unsuspecting, and please look for and find the real beauty in life.

I am so happy that my brother spent his life how he wanted and yet so sad that we can no longer talk, including sharing our silly childhood memories. Miss you Bro!