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February 24, 2009

Charlie Cropper dies at age 62

Friends remember him as selfless man

The longtime voice of WWKI’s “Male Call,” Charlie Cropper lived to help others.

His selfless acts are his legacy.

Cropper died Tuesday morning at St. Joseph Hospital with his wife, Terri, by his side.

It marked the end of his yearlong battle with lung cancer. He was 62.

“What a gentleman he was,” said Tammy Lively, Cropper’s radio co-host and friend.

“He never had a bad thing to say about anyone,” said Lively, who worked alongside Cropper for the past 17 years. “He was one of the kindest, gentlest men I’ve ever known.

“We’re grateful that he’s out of pain,” Lively said of Cropper’s passing.

“It was a blessing for him, but it’s going to be a tough time for the rest of us.”

Cropper and the late Dick Bronson founded We Care.

Thirty-six years later, it’s grown to become the community’s leading fundraiser and even one of the largest in the country.

All because Bronson and Cropper wanted a way to help those in need during the holidays.

Under Cropper’s leadership, the charity gained national attention and helped thousands each year.

With a weak voice, Cropper broadcast his last We Care telethon auction this past Christmas.

“This is such a good organization, they haven’t needed me much,” Cropper said in December after reading the memorial gifts to kick-off the three-day telethon.

“His level of caring for others was unbelievable,” said Lively. “He was a selfless man who loved his community.”

Craig Dunn, a friend of Cropper’s for 20 years, said he never met a person with Cropper’s passion for helping others.

“Very few people leave a footprint as large as he has in the terms of lives he’s touched through his community service,” said Dunn.

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