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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How relentless was Wilke?

As a fellow displaced Red Sox fan, I always enjoyed discussing the Sox, Fenway, and the like with Wilke. But my favorite memory is this. One day, in the Journal's Washington newsroom, Wilke was working away on one of his big stories -- I forget which one. It was destined for Page One, but the absolute deadline was very close, and Wilke's editor had repeatedly failed to get him to stop making calls to dig up even more, and to turn in the last bit of copy needed to complete the story. Finally, he walked over to Wilke's desk with a pair of scissors and cut the phone cord -- literally. That's how dogged a reporter John was.

Walt Mossberg

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