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THE PASSING OF GARY WILHELMI
National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) reports:

Gary G. Wilhelmi, 72, passed away Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso. He was born Aug. 23, 1941, in Joliet, Ill., to the late Leroy and Ruth (nee Schoop) Wilhelmi.

He was a resident of Valparaiso, IN, since 1998, formerly of Bridgman, a 1964 graduate of the University of Illinois, 1959 graduate of Joliet Township High School and a National Futures Market analyst for 50 years.

Lynn Ketelsen at the Linder Farm Network shared an audio tribute he prepared about Gary to the Wilhelmi family. The following is their response:

I am writing to express my appreciation for the wonderful radio spot you provided my father (and since my son, Jude, is editing over my shoulder) and grandfather, Gary Wilhelmi. It was a timely affirmation of what we already know. It is reassuring to know that the people he talked with and to are aware of his passing and your representation of what he meant to his colleagues and listeners.

What is not known was his devotion to his family in providing them a home in what he called "living a vacation" in a beach/ farming community in Southwestern Michigan. In doing this, he had to commute five hours each day to the Chicago Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange for his reports for 15 years.

He was the grandson of generations of farmers going back to the arrival of the Wilhelmi family from Germany to Joliet, IL in 1846. Thus, he was drawn and truly committed to those he considered to be the backbone of our country-the farmers, ranchers, and the agricultural community. He bragged that he could never find a conversation so open and honest as one with any of these folks-- "I would rather have a farmer tell me a lie than a politician tell me the truth."

As his oldest child, I recall hearing him talk between radio reports to you and his other "radio friends". He sounded different on the radio, but he never seemed so familiar as when he talked to each of you before and after his reports. His concern to the day he passed was being accessible to what he built and maintained. Your attempt to make that happen cannot be described here with words.. Unfortunately, his time has passed, and so, it seems, the need for such a personal service in this new age of information and algorithms.

But, what remains are the memories of his persistence in keeping his reports alive, the days he took his children to see the trading floors (where I was employed for 10 years), the familiar opening and closing bell of each trading session, his absolutely illegible handwritten reports, him signing "Walter Payton, get well soon" on all of our report cards, and a poignant reminder, provided by you, that we are not alone in missing him.

Bless you,

Chris Wilhelmi



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