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Community remembers former Chronicle sports editor Bill Wesselhoff

Former Daily Chronicle sports editor Bill Wesselhoff (bottom row center) poses with teammates after winning a 16-inch softball tournament in 1992. Wesselhoff died on March 7.
Former Daily Chronicle sports editor Bill Wesselhoff (bottom row center) poses with teammates after winning a 16-inch softball tournament in 1992. Wesselhoff died on March 7.

If there’s one thing people remembered about former Daily Chronicle sports editor Bill Wesselhoff, it was his sense of humor.

The second thing people mentioned was his strong love of sports.Wesselhoff, who worked at the Chronicle from 1982 until 1997, died March 7.

Former Daily Chronicle publisher Karen Pletsch worked in the sales department for most of Wesselhoff’s tenure.

“He lived and breathed sports, especially baseball and the White Sox,” Pletsch said. “He had no problem telling me how far superior the White Sox were to my Brewers.”

Former NIU sports information director Mike Korcek said Wesselhoff, a graduate of DeKalb High, Kishwaukee College and NIU, said he was extremely passionate about local sports.

“He was an old-school journalist and at the same a time a booster for the local teams,” Korcek said. “He’d always be objective, but he’d also promote the local teams and the Huskies. He was a good man.”

Daryl Graves, a longtime Sycamore track and football coach, came to the Spartans in 1984 when Wesselhoff was already sports editor.

“He was one of those guys who would brighten up a room just by walking in,” Graves said. “He had an infectious smile about him and a quick quip about something always ready to go. He just had a sense of humor.”

Graves said Wesselhoff was almost like another coach.

“He’d always hang out with us when he’d get done covering the game or the track meet,” Graves said. “Maybe we’d go somewhere to get a bite to eat, and then it would turn into a beer with him hanging out and talking with us. He was one of those real friendly guys who we missed when he left the Chronicle.”

Korcek also said that Wesselhoff was very easy to get along with – the two would travel to media events in Chicago sometimes.

“I enjoyed talking to Bill,” Korcek said. “He was a loyal Huskie and a proud Barb. ... He was sports editor in his home town, and that meant a lot to him. He enjoyed that role.”

Classmate Bob Faivre was a fan of his writing, calling him a storyteller and a philosopher. Both graduated DeKalb in 1972 and were teammates on the track and football teams.

Faivre said he got along with everybody.

“Coaches and readers loved him,” Faivre said. “He was part of a family.”

Pletsch called him a “true sports guy.”

“I am proud to call him a colleague and friend,” Pletsch said. “He will be greatly missed.”

A small private ceremony will be held at the Jacksonville National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held in the summer in DeKalb – date pending.

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