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

National Religious Broadcasters Marks 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Religious Broadcasters, which was established with the focus of defending and expanding access to electronic media platforms for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

FCC Chairman Engages on Future of Broadcasting

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler offered his thoughts this week on what the future of broadcasting could...

Supreme Court Turns Down First Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week decided not to take up Elane Photography v. Willock, a case in which a professional photographer...

Nearly Half of House Publicly Oppose Performance Tax

Nearly half of all Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives now publicly support the Local Radio Freedom Act...

NRB Chairman Bill Blount Meets, Greets NAB Leaders

Newly elected NRB Chairman Bill Blount had the opportunity this week to meet and speak briefly with the President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters as well as its Chairman.

Cornerstone Network Celebrates 35 Years of Broadcasting

Cornerstone Network will mark its 35th anniversary on Tuesday, April 15, and plans to celebrate its history and future with an array of activities, including an on-air celebration, the release of a new book, and the launch of new television programs.

Irreplaceable: Focus on the Family's First-Ever Movie Event on May 6

Irreplaceable, one of the largest initiatives that Focus on the Family has ever undertaken, will be presented one night only in more than 700 select movie theaters around the country.

In Memoriam: Norma Pederson, Wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson

Norma Pederson, the wife of Reach Beyond President Wayne Pederson, passed away Thursday, April 3, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Walking with the Enemy: Mark Schmidt Adapts True Decades-Old Story from Nazi-Occupied Hungary

Last week, the Rev. Mark Jenkins, NRB President's Council Member and Minister of Media at Grove Avenue Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, invited several NRB staff to attend a screening of Director Mark Schmidt's Walking with the Enemy, produced by Liberty Studios.

CIN Study Highlighted at Senate Hearing

Following up on a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, members of the Senate Commerce Committee began their review of the...

More News