Tributes poured in on social media late Wednesday after news that longtime Fort Wayne radio personality Charly Butcher passed away at the age of 61.
Butcher, who most recently served as the morning news host on WOWO, had been on local airwaves for more than three decades. Thursday morning's show, his show, was open phone lines to collect memories of a well-known Fort Wayne voice.
On its website, WOWO said his death was likely due to a cardiac event, and that “there are no words to express what this loss means to his family, friends, his co-workers, and the WOWO listeners.”
Butcher is survived by his wife and three children.
The Allen County Commissioners issued the following statement Thursday morning:
“We were saddened to learn of the untimely death of our friend and Fort Wayne radio icon, Charly Butcher. The loss of Charly is huge not only to the radio industry, but to all of Allen County and northeast Indiana. Charly endeared himself to residents for years by telling our community’s story straight every morning, topped off with pointed interviews with local newsmakers, which was particularly valued by his loyal listeners. We know we speak for all Allen County residents in sharing our condolences with his family, with his work family, with all of his listeners and just thanking him for a job well done."
Other elected officials offered their sympathies as well.
“Charly Butcher was a broadcasting icon and a beloved northeast Indiana legend. I am heartbroken about his passing, and I will forever cherish the moments I spent with Charly, both on and off air. Our entire region mourns his loss, but his irreplaceable voice and legacy will live on for generations to come," said Rep. Jim Banks, (R-Columbia City).
“I offer my deepest condolences to Charly’s wife Sarah, his three children, his extended family and his colleagues at WOWO,” Banks continued.
Sad news that @WOWOFORTWAYNE’s Charly Butcher has passed away. I enjoyed talking with him over the years, and he will be missed. I am thinking of Charly’s family, friends, and colleagues. -Joehttps://t.co/62vRLkkmlU
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) August 16, 2018