The communities of Close City and Grassland west of Post continue to mourn the loss of George Wilke. Wilke was killed in an accident in Floyd County Tuesday night.
"He was a jokester and he did like to have a good time just a little bit. He was an old school type person," said lifelong friend Terry Laws. "He helped people in the community. I know he restored a tractor for an elderly woman and wouldn't let her pay for it. He did that for her just because her husband had passed away. Both of them, he and Robbie were just that way."
He says finding out about the accident was heartbreaking.
"I just got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. He'll leave a hole in that community that can't be replaced. It's going to be tough for everybody," he said. "It'll be tough on Robbie when he gets well because they were so close, so it's just hard all the way around."
Laws says that both G.B. and Robbie, as he knew them, loved to restore old tractors.
"Well they loved antique tractors, they built and restored antique tractors,” he said. “I heard just a while ago when they do the funeral Saturday the funeral procession is going to be tractors, they're going to line them up and line the cemetery with tractors."
He described G.B. and Robbie's relationship as one that was very close and says there was nothing fun happening in the area that they weren't right in the middle of.
"Over at his barn, people just met there in the evenings after work and sat and visited and it was just the place to go and he would repair your equipment, give you anything you needed, he was just that way," said Laws. "They helped each other farm and whatever and they helped people in the community farm now that's what's fixing to happen for both of them. People just called on them all the time. They were there if you needed them and you didn't have to worry about him not being there, so there's no way to replace him."
Laws says G.B.'s loss will leave a hole in the community that can't be filled, but his legacy and memory will continue to live on.
"The community they were living in there was no school there so they were trying to raise money to restore this old school and they had ice cream fundraisers, they were both involved in that. All the money from the tractor shows went to that. They just started this Close City tractor show I think two years now and they were putting that money towards the school and the community to redevelop that school."
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