Remembering Dr. Willke

The passing of Dr. John C. Willke on February 20 left a hole in the heart of Life Issues Institute, but messages that flowed in from around the world remind us that we are not alone in our loss, in our gratitude for having known him or in realizing his impact on countless lives. Here’s a small sampling:

He will be remembered as a great teacher and friend and stalwart leader in giving a voice to the most vulnerable in our society. He will be greatly missed. – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

Jack and Barbara brought us a message of human rights, of respect for the smallest and weakest among us, and of optimism about the human future. – Chuck Donovan, president, Charlotte Lozier Institute

We honor him for the good and faithful servant that he was. In his name, we pick up the torch he lit to carry on in this good work. – Charmaine Yoest, president, Americans United for Life

No one could expect younger pro-lifers to appreciate the enormous impact Jack had on our Movement. They’ve grown up in the age of the Internet. . . . But back in those early days, it was a lot, lot more difficult and infinitely slower. And it’s impossible to convey the impact of “the Willke slides.” To this day I can remember the sharp intake of breath—and gasps—as people would see what an aborted baby looked like for the first time. . . . It was hard to come away from them and act as if nothing had happened. – Dave Andrusko, editor, National Right to Life News

His warmth, kindness and good humor as he dealt with such a serious subject as saving babies from abortion was a great part of his being so effective. – Gayle Atteberry, executive director, Oregon Right to Life

No other pro-life leader or organisation will match the solid educational work done by Jack and Barbara Willke. – John Smeaton, director, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, London

We miss a hero and add him to the endless list of faith heroes found in Hebrews 11. – Bert Dorenbos, president, Schreeuw om Leven (Cry for Life), The Netherlands

What is of utmost value in what both Jack and Barbara have left us is simply this: working to defend the children in the womb is more than a job, an assignment, or a profession. It is a lifelong calling that admits of no turning back, no letting up, and no counting the cost. – Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

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