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Pro-life leader Dr. John Willke dies at 89

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Staff Report

Doctor John Willke, who with his wife Barbara founded Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati in the 1970s died Friday, Feb. 20. He was 89.

“Dr. Willke was the leading statesman addressing the second civil rights struggle of our nation,” said Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. “He met with presidents and popes and crossed the globe, but his passion was always to ensure the right to life for helpless unborn children and other vulnerable people.”

Willke’s death prompted Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to release the following statement.

“Fran and I are saddened by the passing of our friend Dr. John Willke. Dr. Willke was a worldwide leader in the right to life movement. He and his wife Barbara brought great passion to their mission to protect the unborn. Dr. Willke also brought his professional skills as a doctor to help support this mission. 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.”

Dr. Willke and his wife were practicing Catholics, pre-Cana instructors and authors of several books.

Posted Feb. 21, 2015

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