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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One more story

I listened to all the moving stories about John Wilke and all the lives he touched at Saturday's memorial service, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought: Will they be able to say so much about me when my time comes?

For several of us, there was one Wilke story that didn't get told and must be recorded: John was working on a story that, as usual, he was reluctant to share with his editor, the mild-mannered Bob Keatley. Promises of delivery were made and broken. Keatley, who never raised his voice or showed any sign of exasperation or anger, walked to John 's desk holding a pair of scissors. John was on the phone. Keatley cut the phone cord and said, "Finish the story."

David Wessel

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