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Walter Breen's Online Memorial Photo

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Memorial Biography

Walter "Walt" Breen peacefully entered the next realm on April 30th, 2012.

Originally from Rhode Island, Walter lived in San Francisco for the past thirty years. The son of Walter Breen, Sr. and Betty (Archambault) Breen, Walter is survived by his sisters Patricia and Caroline, and by countless friends from coast to coast.

Walter was an avid and passionate student of Linguistics, and graduated from Brown University in 1977. He served as the ESL Program Director at the Jewish Vocational Services in San Francisco. His last two years were spent pursuing the goal of reading "The Little Prince" (Le Petit Prince) in each of the 100+ languages in which it was published. He made it through more than half.

Walter was an exceptional man who taught me a lot about compassion, generosity and humility. While most people just pass by the homeless without a thought, Walter knew every homeless person in his neighborhood by name. He was rarely seen without a smile, even in his final days. I'm a better man for having known you Walter, and I am not the only one.

Walter's final wish was to spend his transition at the Maitri Compassionate Care Hospice in San Francisco. We were blessed enough for them to accept his residency on April 17th, so Walter spent the last two weeks being cared for by the Angels at this exceptional facility. In lieu of flowers, Walter asked that any token of his memory be in the form of donations, so they can continue their important work. Find them at www.maitrisf.org and click on "Donate Now".

On April 22nd, Walter celebrated his 56th birthday with close friends Stephan, Lisa, Darrin and Bryan at his side. He spent his final days listening to readings of "The Little Prince", and Kathy Griffin's memoir "Official Book Club Selection". He also had his favorite music with him including Joni Mitchell, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Carole King and Steely Dan.

A small, private ceremony of remembrance is tentatively planned for late May in San Francisco. If you were close to Walter and would like details, please email a request to: waltbreen@comcast.net.

"Let these walls come tumbling down now,
Let them fall right on the ground.
Let all these dogs go running free,
The wild and the gentle dogs kenneled in me"
~Joni Mitchell