It is very sad to receive news that we've loss another member of the Moo Duk Kwan. We have been notified by the Italy Moo Duk Kwan, that one of their dearest members has passed away.
Mr. Walter Abbafati, 3rd Dan, Dan Bon 42056.
Here is the initial announcement from Italy:
Walter leaves a great void in the Association and in the heart of all practitioners of Soo Bahk Do in Italy.
Please, if you can, to announce the untimely death of Walter regret to the members of the Soo Bahk Do, so that those who knew him will remember him in prayers.
Gianni Anil Chiarelli
Sa Bom Nim
Our thoughts are with Mr. Abbafani's family and Italian Moo Duk Kwan.
HC Hwang & family
Mr. Abbafati, pictured above in the center, sitting with the children he loved so much.
I have posted here the very kind words of Robert Shipley, Sa bom Nim, who knew him.
"It is my unhappy duty to note the premature passing of Walter Abbafati, a 3rd dan member of the Italian Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan group in Marino, Italy. He had been in a coma for a couple of months due to a fast-moving form of brain cancer, was somewhere in his late 40's in age.
Walter was an enthusiastic member of the Marino tojang & spent a lot of his time in the studio working with kids, spending endless patient hours teaching them basics, forms, 1-steps, along with breakfalls, tumbling & strength-building exercises. He also trained hard in his own practice & in spite of a lack of flexibility, learned to compensate & was an all-around good practitioner.
He was not the most prepossessing person I ever saw, and to be honest, I was put off by his appearance when I first met him somewhat dark and saturnine looking, with numerous odd tattoos, constantly experimenting with hair & beard treatments. He worked for the Commune (city) of Marino as a laborer. I found as time passed that he was a honestly humble & a genuinely nice person, completely dedicated to his practice of Soo Bahk Do. It was a good lesson to me, even at this late date, not to judge people by their appearances!
The Italian federation is in deep mourning; we will all miss his smile, his enthusiasm & willingness to help carry the burden of operating a tojang all the while being cheerful & focused. He would never have been a major mover & shaker in the larger world of World Moo Duk Kwan, but it is important for us all to take a moment to stop and recognize that it is people like Walter Abbafati who make the small daily contributions with their dedication that keep the world Soo Bahk Do movement moving forward. And if possible, do it with the grace that he did."
Pace all'anima sua, caro Walter
I have also included a reply from Italy:
>> Subject: Re: FW: Passing of Moo Duk Kwan Brother
> Thank you Bob
> Your image about Valter is perfect. We talked a lot about him when you
> were in Rome and you know that I always had the same sentiments for him.
> In the afternoon at 15,30 we did a funeral in Marino's Cathedral.
> There were a lot of people and it was very moving. It were also a lot
> of SBD people with Do Bok. Even the weather was sad with a little rain
> all the day.
> I said the last HELLO! for you to Valter. And now we have to think
> about what Valter did for us. He was a very good example to follow,
> like you described very well.
> Thank you again and best regards.
> Giorgio D'Abbondanza
> P.S. Ti allego una foto di Valter che ti sorprenderà.