My old college buddy John Wilke passed away last Friday at the age of 54. I have known him and his wife Nancy for 31 years. John was a staunch liberal from before the day I met him until the day he passed away. He had a very "straight"-looking demeanor and was always polite and diplomatic, but he was burning with righteous indignation at corporate greed and exploitation when we were students at New College in the 1970s and that spirit carried him through Columbia Journalism School and on to a distinguished career as an investigative reporter. He was a thorn in the side of the mighty; if you were to ask Bill Gates about him you'd get an earful.
John told me he had cancer some months ago, and we had an e-mail conversation about death and dying, but he was never anything but his always positive self. He never said he was dying, he was reflective but never complained. Here are obituaries from his employer of 20 years The Wall Street Journal, his sometime employer The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post.