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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Good listener and a dear friend

I didn’t know John professionally. I met him through my husband and was surprised to learn that he was a hard charging reporter for the WSJ--he seemed too nice, too sweet, too silly and friendly. Over the years I got to know him as a friend who was in a perpetually good mood and always up for fun. To me, he wasn’t the rock-star reporter many knew him as, he was half of “John and Nancy”, friends you can count on to make Father’s Day, New Year’s Eve any many other occasions more enjoyable. And, of course, there were the baseball games to be watched and I was lucky enough to be with John when the Red Sox won both their recent World Series victories.

In a town like DC, so many people are power hungry or looking for the big scoop. When I met John, I was a new, stay-at-home mother, about as far from powerful and newsworthy as one could be. Yet he was interested in what I had to say and made you feel special. For someone who could talk with authority on seemingly endless subjects, he was an amazing listener. Kids, the Red Sox, dark chocolate and beer, John taught me much about each of these subjects.

I suppose his being a good listener was, at least in part, what made him such a good reporter but it was also one of the many things that made him such a dear friend. He will be greatly missed.

Hali Browne London

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