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Am I being overly-dramatic when I say 2016 sucks? Gene Wilder with his wonderful talent, great sense of humor, and gentle soul, is the latest icon who has passed away. While the majority of us never had the pleasure of meeting him, he was someone who we felt as though we knew. Even more devastating is the news that he died from complications of Alzheimer’s. But his nephew provided some small comfort in his statement today saying in part that they were lucky that Gene never lost his ability to recognize those closest to him. As to the reason why his illness wasn’t made public his nephew said: “The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that countless young children that would smile or call out to him ‘there’s Willy Wonka,’ would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.” Gene Wilder was a class act right to the end.

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