Let's capture some of why we loved Wilke so much. As one friend of his put it:

"...write up an anecdote – some story where they watched Wilke build up into righteous anger when reporting a story... or ironing out a crease in the fabric of the Journal bureau... And someone should talk about him tearing up when he described taking his kid to college…..Or when he became nearly inconsolable when the anthrax story came back and cost him two fantastic seats at the Nats-Mets game. Describe a time he filled in for people, picked up their loads for them, counseled them, slipped them incredible sources, shared bylines... that will keep him alive and you (and the rest of us) afloat."

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Danny Pearl

The night Danny Pearl's murder was confirmed was the same evening as the National Press Foundation at the Hilton on Connecticut Ave., eight blocks north of the WSJ Bureau.  The then current and former telecom scribes were attending the annual BellSouth shrimp-fest cocktail party before and after dinner.  Wilke and Brian Gruley decided when the suite closed down that they were not through their anger and grief about Danny, so they insisted that I and former Verizon PR exec Sue Kraus go for more drinks.  "We know a place where there's still booze -- 1025 Connecticut."  That late at night (early morning) I was not computing that as the bureau's address.  The two Journal troubadours insisted they were walking, Sue and I took a cab.  They arrived arm and arm about 15 minutes after we had gotten there and discovered there was indeed no speakeasy at this location.  They got us past the guards and up to the bureau where they scoured the wires for stories, editorials and more on their colleague Danny.  They pointed out the cubicle Danny had occupied while he covered telecom and told Danny in DC stories.  And, Wilke was right, there was still booze.  They knew just which desks to check.  After a few hours, we all went home, still sad, but happy to have spent good hours with good friends.  John was a pro and is missed already. 
Bill McCloskey

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