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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, December 06, 2017 3:30 pm

City Councilman grieves loss of childhood friend

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne City Council President Tom Didier's voice broke as he described the loss of childhood friend Don Offerle at the start of Tuesday's City Council meeting. 

"He was a great friend of mine for 55 years," Didier said. "I grew up with him on Crescent Avenue. He was just a wonderful person and I'm going to miss him terribly." 

Offerle, 55, was a well-known tennis pro who worked at Autumn Ridge Golf Club and Cherry Hill Golf Club. A bicycle accident in 2015 left Offerle in a coma with a brain injury. He recovered and went on to raise awareness of the dangers of cycling without a helmet. Offerle died Monday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. 

Didier said Offerle was his best friend. 

"I had to tell you because my heart's breaking right now and I'm sitting here doing the job God has me doing in my life," Didier said Tuesday. "And I know Donny is looking down over me tonight."