Rik Wallin was born as Richard Michael Knapp on Nov. 26, 1961, in Connecticut. He graduated from Jonathan Law High School in Milford Connecticut in 1969, then attended and graduated from Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport with a degree in computer programming and development of computer software.
He met the love of his life, Sven (Wynn) Andreas Wagner, in 1995. In 2002, he was injured in a motorcycle accident that left him with a severe traumatic brain injury, blindness in one eye and deafness in one ear. He was in a coma for two weeks and in out-patient neuro-phych rehab every weekday for nine months, learning how to talk, type, cook, walk and to regain motor and mental function.
Last year Rik lost his partner of more 25 years and husband of three years, Sven Wallin, to suicide. He struggled to accept life without Sven and faced loneliness and increased amounts of social isolation, which unfortunately are common in older LGBTQ adults. He found brief moments of happiness and respite from the physical and emotional pain that ravaged his life by attending events with an LGBT grief support group and the Silver Pride Project.
Rik succumbed to the mounting pain in his life with an act of suicide last week.
Sunday, his friends from the Silver Pride Project and his grief support group celebrated his life with a memorial service at the Legacy of Love monument on Cedar Springs Road at Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas, and toasted his memory at his favorite bar, the Hidden Door in Dallas, with the ritual of raising and sharing a beer and pouring a sip out for the brother who is no longer among us. He was loved and will be missed.