FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- For over 30 years, Fort Wayne woke up with Charly Butcher, and took him with on their morning commute.
Butcher died Wednesday night after a cardiac event.
Kayla Blakeslee, the news and program director at WOWO said Thursday morning at work was harder than most.
"We had our listeners calling in, we had lots of special guests lined up, Mayor Tom Henry was on with us, Congressman Banks. The list in fact is just endless of people who called in," she said.
Butcher leaves behind a wife and three kids, but Blakeslee said Charly made everyone feel like family.
"We've had several listeners today say that he was home, that he's always felt like home. So I think a lot of listeners have lost a little bit of their home," she said.
Chris Moore with Moore and Associates worked alongside Butcher for 16 years on a financial segment. The last time they talked was last Friday before Charly left for vacation.
"I think he was taking care of a few loose ends and then having vacation with his family, but Charly was never on vacation. He was always thinking about something to better his family, or his kids, or Federated Media, or the media in general," Moore said.
Charly was also a man who wanted to give his listeners the facts. He was a no nonsense kind of guy, but was said to have a heart of gold.
Kenny Barr said that's where his work with Shepherd's House comes in. The Shepherd's House was the recipient of WOWO's Penny Pitch last fall, and said Butcher went to bat for them.
"He got away from me because I owe him one. He got me to cry on Facebook live when they announced the Penny Pitch winner here," Barr said.
The Shepherd's House staff wanted to wait to reveal a dedication in the house for the radio station, but they decided now was the right time to give a sneak peek at a room dedicated to Charly Butcher, complete with a plaque outside the door.
"We were blessed to have him for as long as we had him, and we'll just relish those thoughts," Barr said.
Now, the question on everyone's minds is who will fill this hole in Fort Wayne's media, and who will fill his chair in the corner of the WOWO studio?
"No one. No one will ever be able to fill the shoes for Charly Butcher. As to what we're going to do down the roadway, we're just taking it one day at a time," Blakeslee said.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Charly Butcher.
Mass of Christian Burial is at 10:30 a.m. Monday, August 20th, with calling one hour prior at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 10700 Aboite Center Road.
Calling is also Sunday, August 19th from 2-8 p.m. at D.O. McComb and Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home with a vigil at 7:30 p.m and Burial in Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Memorials may be made to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church or College Fund for his daughter Marissa in care of Sarah Butcher. To sign the online guest book, go to www.domccombandsons.com.
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