Life Issues Institute mourns the passing of a dear wife, friend, mentor and pro-life pioneer—Barbara Willke. She died April 14 at the age of 90 due to a severe head injury after a fall.
Barbara leaves behind her beloved husband of nearly 65 years, 6 children, 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, she dedicated her life to helping others, particularly unborn babies and their mothers.
Jack and Barbara have had the kind of marriage that many others dream about. They were a team throughout their lives, which translated into their lifetime work for the pro-life movement. Together, they wrote and published many books and brochures on the life issues. They became famous for their style of lecturing—presenting the material by alternating between them.
Barbara taught nursing at St. Elizabeth in Dayton, Ohio and at Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati. She was head of the department at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati before dedicating herself to being a full-time mother. Barbara was instrumental in establishing pro-life women help centers in the metro Cincinnati area and served as the president of Cincinnati Right to Life until her retirement from pro-life work. Even then, she continued to serve on the board of directors of Life Issues Institute, only months ago retiring from that board.
Barbara Willke traveled with her husband, Jack, to many countries that entailed meeting world leaders including members of Congress, Parliaments, the Pope and presidents. No couple has done more to advance the pro-life movement than Barbara and Jack Willke.
As Dr. and Mrs. Willke entered the winter of their lives, they realized that everyday spent together was an added blessing. During their last few years together, special effort was made to enjoy the time God was giving them. And now, much too soon for those of us at Life Issues Institute, God has called his faithful servant home to Him in heaven. Barbara has faithfully run the race to the very end. Her legacy will live on under the continued direction of Dr. Willke at Life Issues Institute. Please keep Dr. Willke and his family in your prayers as they struggle to adjust to life without their beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. We miss you and we love you.