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Fort Wayne morning radio fixture Charly Butcher passes away at 61

Host of Fort Wayne's Morning News, Charly Butcher

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): It is with a heavy heart that WOWO reports, Charly Butcher, a family man and Fort Wayne radio fixture, has passed away at the age of 61. He died Wednesday afternoon likely due to a cardiac event.

Charly was the loving husband of elementary school teacher, Sarah Butcher, and the father of three wonderful kids. There are no words to express what this loss means to his family, friends, his co-workers, and the WOWO listeners.

Charly Butcher – Talk Tank 2018

Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita released the following statement:

“Tonight my friends in northeast Indiana made me aware of the unfortunate news that my friend, revered WOWO broadcaster Charly Butcher, passed away. It has been an honor and a privilege to accompany Charly on his ‘Morning News’ segment over the years. Charly is a beacon of truth and courage to all that have known him and has always put the interests of his listeners and community first. Your legacy lives on, my friend.”

Charly Butcher – Penny Pitch Radiothon 2018

In addition, Indiana Congressman Jim Banks released this statement on Charly’s passing:

“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. I offer my deepest condolences to Charly’s wife Sarah, his three children, his extended family and his colleagues at WOWO.”

Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly also reached out:

Bob Chase and Charly Butcher

The following statement is from Vice President Mike Pence:

“Karen & I were deeply saddened to learn of passing of a friend and an Indiana radio institution, Charly Butcher. Charly was a friendly voice in the morning for more than 30 years, with a deep commitment to his family and the listening audience. Charly Butcher was a great broadcaster and even better person and he will  be missed. We send our prayers and condolences to Sarah, their children, their friends and every Hoosier who will miss this truly good man.  God bless Charly Butcher.” – Vice President Mike Pence


Vice President Pence also reached out to WOWO to share his condolences:


Nationally syndicated radio host Glenn Beck also took time during his program today to honor Butcher:

To say we are heart-broken would be an understatement.  We ask that everyone respect the privacy of his family during this challenging time.  We will continue to provide updates at the appropriate times and appreciate your understanding as we too continue to grasp the gravity of this news.

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Mike Scheele August 15, 2018 at 9:06 pm

My most sincere sympathise at you loss.

T.L. August 15, 2018 at 9:08 pm

What a great personality and a true Ft Wayne staple!! Won’t be the same without your iconic voice, R.I.P. CB

amie August 15, 2018 at 9:11 pm

shocked! so sad! he will be missed dearly! such a kind man! he would always reply to me when I would send him messages.

Nik August 15, 2018 at 9:37 pm

Heartbroken!! Prayers with the Butcher family, and the WOWO family.

Rich August 15, 2018 at 10:12 pm

God Bless Him.

Richard Bailey August 15, 2018 at 10:12 pm

you are in haven! It’s aids that you have left Earth; however, you have impacted everybody who remains in a paptive way.

Adam August 15, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Wow, this is shocking and very sad. Our condolences to his co-workers and family whom he so obviously cherished greatly.

Brian August 15, 2018 at 10:37 pm

Prayers for the family. He will be truly missed. Have loved listening to him since the WMEE days.

Shelly Foust August 15, 2018 at 11:11 pm

I am deeply saddened by this! I have been listening to him since I was 15 years old. He is a part of Fort Wayne that you just always figured would be here!

Darlene August 16, 2018 at 1:54 am

How incredibly sad for Charley’s wife, children and extended family. All WOWO listeners will surely miss that smart and easy talkin’ voice. I’m not a morning person but he could bring a smile to my lips. Bless you sweet Charlie. You will be terribly missed

Darlene Frame August 16, 2018 at 2:04 am

How incredibly sad for Charley’s wife, children and extended family. All WOWO listeners will surely miss that smart and easy talkin’ voice. I’m not a morning person but he could bring a smile to my lips. Bless you sweet Charlie. You will be terribly missed.

Bob (from Portland) Hill August 16, 2018 at 5:08 am

We have lost a very good friend, and family member. We invite the WOWO family into our homes every day. We bring the WOWO family with us on our vehicle trips, to be our road companion. Charly often referred to me as his “unpaid joke writer”, but I was paid in full when he either used my zingers on air, or texted his response to me as I waited for my shift to start. My mornings will be a little darker for awhile. I will not say good bye, because I know we will meet up again. And, I will make sure to swing bye Mrs Wicks, and bring some sugar cream pie for us to enjoy.

Bob (from Portland) Hill August 16, 2018 at 5:10 am

Gonna miss you, Charly.

Brenda Vaught August 16, 2018 at 5:14 am

I have listened to Charly since he began his career on WMEE. He made my day start off on the right foot so many times. This is so incredibly sad and he will be missed more than words can say.
God Bless and keep his family and friends close during this difficult time.

John F August 16, 2018 at 5:46 am

I’m from New England I lived in Fort Wayne for 14 years very sad to hear this . Absolutely loved listening to Charly in the morning one of the all time best. You guys in Fort Wayne have definitely lost a local radio legend.

Lucy August 16, 2018 at 5:56 am

Prayers for the Butcher family. I have started my day listening to Charly my whole life and I will miss his sense of humor. God bless his friends and family.

Mark August 16, 2018 at 6:50 am

Wife and I are so glad your were around so long. Will be missed. RIP.

Mark. Leslie and family.

Ed Beckner August 16, 2018 at 7:08 am

I saw Charly at Menards one day, he said Hello, and I told him I remembered him and Tony on Two Guys in the Morning. He laughed and we had a very pleasant conversation about Tony, biking and it was just Charly being Charly. He didn’t know me from Adam, but took the time to be friendly. A great guy…He will be missed.

Jeff Davis August 16, 2018 at 7:16 am

Totally heartbroken and shocked about the news. I had the pleasure to work with Charly for many years back in the 80’s and 90’s. Always a pro who had so much pride in his show! Cared deeply about his listeners, co-workers, and especially his family! So many great memories as we were a close radio family during those times because we spent so much time together especially at promotional events in the community. I left Fort Wayne about 20 years ago, but the few times Charly and I spoke over the years, he was always the same…we would just pick up where we left off…as if no time had passed. My sincere condolences to the Federated Media family and especially to Sarah and their children.

Darrin C August 16, 2018 at 7:38 am

I only met Charly once, we just happened to pass each other at a public function. I recognized him and told him that I literally grew up listening to him on WMEE as a kid in the 1980’s. His straight-faced but hilarious reply was “Oh……I’m sorry!” Great guy with a great personality who will be missed by the entire community.

Rick Edgar August 16, 2018 at 7:41 am

What a great radio personality this man was. Enjoyed his morning show and sharing the cycling stories that he shared. Prayers to the entire family and work friends. God Bless.

B. J. Hines August 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

Condolences to friends and family. He will b e missed.

Jeff Bullis August 16, 2018 at 8:01 am

Such an uncommon man. My wife and I have enjoyed Charly for years. Such a powerful voice in our community. Such family pride was echoed often by Charly. So deeply saddened for his wife and kids. Charlie will be remembered always as a voice that made our community a better place. RIP Charly. You will be missed!

Dave Macy August 16, 2018 at 8:05 am

Charly was a friend–and I pray for his family. I’m not sure he really knew how deeply he impacted Ft. Wayne–but as James (brother of Jesus) says, Our life is but a vapor— He will be missed. Let his passing impact you in the reality that Jesus is Lord– and if He is not Lord of your life, get to know Him today! RIP Charly!

Diana August 16, 2018 at 8:29 am

My morning drive will not be the same now. I so enjoyed listening to Charlie. We were about the same age and had similar values. He was a spokesperson for those of us with conservative values. So very sad. He will be missed. Prayers to all his loved ones.

Sherry (from Kendallville) Carter August 16, 2018 at 8:40 am

I was totally shocked when I heard the news about Charly this morning. I listened to Charly and Tony on WMEE and enjoyed listening to him in the mornings on WOWO. He had a personality that just drew you to him. Please accept my sincere condolences for this terrible loss and may God bless his family and friends.

Scott - Indianapolis August 16, 2018 at 8:43 am

Prayers for peace and comfort to Charly’s family. I have great memories growing up in the Fort in the 80’s, listening to Charly and Tony on “Those Two Guys in The Morning” show on my way to school. In the heyday of shock-jocks, I always respected Charly that his integrity rose above that.

Rest in peace, Charly.

Buck August 16, 2018 at 8:53 am

I’ve listened to him for many enjoyable years. My heartfelt condolences to friends and family.

Charlotte August 16, 2018 at 8:54 am

Will miss waking up & seeing your face & hearing your candid views of the news every morning Charly. May many happy warm memories get his family & friends through this terrible time. God Bless

matt August 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

God has his reasons for everything and at times it is hard to see through the tough times….. CB will be sadly missed and he was on the radio since I moved here 14 years ago and I was hooked on his comedy and his broadcasting professionalism. We know you can hear all of our prayers and the love we are sending. I know this is a hard time for the family but you will always have great memories you can forever hold on to.

Carmen Cumberland August 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

Growing up, I always enjoyed listening to Charly on WMEE. And when I joined Community Harvest Food Bank and saw what an incredible ambassador for hunger relief he was, my fondness and admiration grew even more. Charly took a personal interest in bringing hunger awareness to his listening audience, and his heartfelt contributions have meant so much to the food bank and to the whole community. He was a part of the CHFB family and we will be forever grateful to him. My heart goes out to his immediate and extended family. He was a treasure and will be truly missed.

Tina August 16, 2018 at 9:32 am

Listening to Charly was like listening to an old friend. I listened to he & Tony on Those 2 Guys in the Morning every day for the entire 10 years of their show, and later when he came back to WMEE for a while. The Subaru commercials that are currently on the radio these days always make me smile as I hear that very familiar voice. I now wish I would have checked him out on WOWO. Charly was one-of-a-kind, and I’m so glad that I got to thank him for all the years of the many mornings of helping start my day out right, and with a laugh! It was when he had returned to doing the morning show on his on own at WMEE, and they were hosting a concert at Pierre’s. He had friendly, kind, & appreciative words in return.

Listening to Tony this morning when he first came on the air on WOWO to talk about Charly, and Tony could hardly talk, he was so upset, made ME start crying as I was getting ready for work. Everybody at MY work is talking about him this morning – they all listened to him at some point in time. Charly, you touched so many people, and as someone else has already said, “you were the soundtrack of our lives” for SO MANY PEOPLE, and what a wonderful soundtrack that was. You are irreplaceable, and will be remembered forever. My thoughts & prayers go out to Charly’s family, close friends, & colleagues. Even for someone like me, the average listener, who didn’t even personally know him, today is going to be a tough one to get through at work because I feel like I lost a family member. That’s what Charly meant to people like me.

Thomas (brother-in-law) Lake August 16, 2018 at 9:38 am

My prayers go out to Charly’s wife, children, family and friends. God Bless. Reading the many posts from his listeners, coworkers and friends respecting him and his work makes me feel so privileged to have known him. He was a very special man. Charly thank you for the many conversations and pleasant memories over the past 30+ years.

Thomas (Brother-in-law) Lake August 16, 2018 at 9:44 am

My prayers go out to Charly’s wife, children, family and friends. God Bless. Reading the many posts from his listeners, coworkers and friends make me feel privileged to have known him. Charly I would like to thank you for the many conversations and memories we’ve had over the past 30+ years. You will truly be missed.

Kent August 16, 2018 at 10:07 am

Those Two Guys In The Morning. Rest In Peace Charlie

Scott Maser August 16, 2018 at 10:34 am

Another Fort Wayne Radio Legend will be missed… from WMEE to WOWO Charly showed his unmatched ability to connect with his audience. You will be missed… but not forgotten.

Becky Miller August 16, 2018 at 10:35 am

Charly was one in a million! He will be deeply missed. My heart and prayers go out to his family and friends. I am still in shock and disbelief.

Steve Shone August 16, 2018 at 11:08 am

Charly Butcher was king of the Ft. Wayne radio in the 80s with his humor and antics. When I heard he started working for the traitor Republican propaganda station WOWO, I lost all respect for the guy. Guess he lost his way way like most over 50 white guys have. Just glad no one under 40 listens to WOWO. They will soon go the route of the News Sentinel.

Salena Ford October 26, 2023 at 7:54 pm

Republican values: work hard, spend wisely, don’t let cross- dressing perverts into the girl’s locker room. Pretty good, happy to be a Republican!RIP CHARLY ..

cheryl wulliman August 16, 2018 at 11:13 am

Mornings won’t be the same….Rest in Peace….Prayers for Family

Jim August 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

Condolences from New Jersey. Listened to him every morning on-line after I moved away. Grew up with him on WMEE. Sad…

Vern Owen August 16, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Going to be a sad time in the Fort. Charlie is going to be missed by many and my heartfelt sympathies to his family. He will be missed by all those in the listening area! I moved to the Fort in 1980 and I’ve listened to Charlie his whole time on WOWO and you’ll never meet a more honest and real person.

Susan August 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm

I am truly saddened by the news of Charly’s passing. He has been part of my morning routine for years, of course even going back to the WMEE days. I am now in my 50’s and will miss waking up to his morning show. My heart goes out to his family, friends and the entire WOWO crew. This is a very sad day.

Melissa Ashby August 16, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Our deepest sympathies to the family and WOWO station. Loved hearing him in the mornings during drive to work. He will be missed 🙁

Jennifer J Ott August 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm

I remember listening to him over the years. What a sad day it is. Condolences to his family.

Teri August 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm

What a loss to his family, friends, colleagues and our community. He was loved and so respected by all. His skill and reputation can never be replaced.

Susan Mabe August 16, 2018 at 6:34 pm

My heart is broken. Charly was the one I looked forward to when I get up at 4:30 every morning, and waited for his morning show while I was getting ready for work. I have listened to him for 30 years, and grew up in the 80’s with WMEE. I am in my 50’s now. You never know what tomorrow will bring. My mornings will NEVER be the same. My prayers to his family and the entire staff of Federated Media.

Al Freeman August 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm

Saddened and shocked about the news today. I too had the pleasure to work with Charly for many years back in the mid to late 80’s along with Jeff Davis and others. Charly a very,very intelligent man, but a lot of the times never portrayed that in his shows! Even though we were just co-workers, Charly and I were good friends, I have many great memories as well. We “were” a close radio family during that time. I left Fort Wayne a short while ago, but I still always considered Charly a good friend of mine. My heart is heavy, for his very kind and special lady, Sarah and the children. God Bless you all!!

Judy Potosky August 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm

My sympathies to the Butcher family and WOWO family. A great man, broadcaster and a ‘servant’ of the community (as Kayla described). Listened for over 30 years on both stations. Will always remember him as he challenged “Hey, Mr. Grocer. Where are you keeping the Wick’s Sugar Cream Pies?” Went out today and bought one for myself! Thank you, Charly. Rest in Peace. God bless.

MD August 17, 2018 at 12:00 am

A few words to describe Charly include professional, knowledgeable, informative, entertaining, witty, and personable. He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to all impacted.

Eleanor Cranmer August 17, 2018 at 12:03 am

May his soul rest in peace. Amen Sincere condolences to his family.

Randall D. Young August 17, 2018 at 4:13 am

Met Charley as Master of Ceremonies for Grabill Days with my 4 YR old autistic Son. He is a rare and precious
man who treated my Son like a normal child.
FMR Tsgt Randall D. Young
Grabill, Indiana

Daybreak Huraczy August 17, 2018 at 8:27 am

I only met Charlie one time, and that was in Grabill, at Grabill Country sales. It was during the time they were having a drawing for people, and they had one minute to shop. It was really neat to see how he handled that, with professionalism, and yet made everybody laugh, and feel comfortable around him. He had a personality that made you want to talk to him more, and get to know him better. You could tell the Amish people really appreciated him too, as well as everybody else that was there.Since I had never met him before, it took me a minute to figure out who he was, but then I was intrigued,and wanted to talk to him more, as I knew his voice from WOWO, having listened to him many times in the last 10-12 years. He was pretty busy that day though, so I didn’t really get to talk to him personally. But I could tell that he really cared about how smoothly the process of the giveaway went, and really cared about everybody that was there to participate in it. Unfortunately, life isn’t always fair, and people that mean a lot to this community, and a lot to us in our lives don’t always live as long as we wish that they would. 61 is definitely quite young for someone to go at this time! As vice-president Pence said yesterday, Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted, (Luke 4:18) and I’m thankful for that!

Elaine Daly August 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

My thoughts to those missing this Fort Wayne icon.

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