HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > In Memoriam: Pro-Life Pioneer Barbara Willke

In Memoriam:  Pro-Life Pioneer Barbara Willke

Barbra and John WillkePro-life pioneer Barbara Willke, whose husband co-founded the Life Issues Institute, passed away peacefully this past Sunday after suffering a severe head injury due to a fall.

“Her passing will leave a great void in the lives and hearts of all those who knew her and in the Christian community,” remarked NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright.

For over four decades, Willke diligently worked alongside her husband, Dr. J.C. Willke, to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb. According to Life Issues Institute, she was instrumental in the founding of Cincinnati Right for Life, where she was a passionate advocate for life. Using public speaking, slide shows, and newsletters, Willke helped educate the public to the violence of abortion and positive alternatives from the earliest days of the pro-life movement.

“Barbara was like a mother to me,” commented Bradley Mattes, Life Issues Institute Executive Director and NRB Board Member. “She and Jack have been my inspiration and mentors for the 38 years I’ve been in the pro-life movement. The impact she and Jack have had on the pro-life movement is immeasurable.”

In an e-mail Tuesday, Mattes encouraged pro-life supporters to reach out to Dr. Willke via e-mail with a word of thanks for what he and his wife have sacrificially done over the years, and to include a few words of comfort and encouragement.

Appropriate information on how to send flowers or mail a card will be made available on the Life Issues Institute website at www.lifeissues.org. Details regarding the funeral will also be posted there.

“Please also pray that Life Issues Institute – under the continued leadership of Dr. Willke – will carry on the precious legacy begun by him and Barbara so many years ago,” Mattes concluded. “May we follow Barbara’s example of being faithful in running the race to the end.”

Published: April 18, 2013

Latest News

NRB Spearheads ‘Get Out the Vote’ PSA Campaign

NRB has initiated a “Get Out the Vote” campaign to encourage Christians across America to cast their votes in the upcoming election, which could prove to be one of the most crucial in our nation’s history.

Joni Eareckson Tada Presented with the First True Woman Award

Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, received a special honor earlier this month at the True Woman 2014 National Women's Conference.

In Memoriam: Herb Jacobson, Reach Beyond's Longest Serving Missionary

Just a few months after surpassing 65 years of service with Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) and just three days after celebrating his 89th birthday, missionary engineer Herb Jacobson went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, October 8.

NRB Board Member Jay Flowers Now Managing Director at Grace to You Ministry

Jay Flowers, who serves on the NRB Board of Directors, the NRB President’s Council, and Pastor John MacArthur’s Grace to You ministry, has been named Managing Director at Grace to You.

NRB Concerned by Call for Hate Speech Proceeding

A petition to the FCC challenging a broadcaster license alleges “hate speech” and calls for a FCC hearing on the subject. Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to...

City of Houston Subpoenas Sermons

NRB and many others were alarmed this week by the City of Houston’s subpoena of local pastors’ church sermons. “This inquisition by the City of Houston is unconstitutional,” declared Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB.

Thousands Gather to Pray for Washington

On Columbus Day, I was pleased to gather with thousands of Christians from churches around the Washington, DC area to pray for this capital city.

FCC Calls for Input on LPTV

The FCC recently declared that it is suspending deadlines for construction of new digital low power television (LPTV) stations, and similarly stated its intent to postpone the 2015 deadline for...

NRB to Debut Film & Entertainment Summit in 2015

NRB is launching the Film & Entertainment Summit at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Don't Miss Early Bird Rates for the NRB15 Int’l Christian Media Convention!

Registration is open for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention, to be held February 23-26, 2015, in Nashville, TN. But to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration discounts and save up to $200, you’ll need to register by November 15, 2014.

More News