BY TINA GASSETT
[Editors Note: Louis C. Wherry was fatally shot Oct. 4, 2013 in the Austin community. Friend Tina Gassett wrote the following memorial for the one year anniversary of his death.]
Louis C. Wherry was by far one of the most wonderful people who ever came into my life.
There is not one word I can use to describe him. He was funny, hard working, a devoted father, the best friend a girl could have, kind-hearted, loyal, trustworthy and driven.
When I met Louis he was a truck driver who delivered to my place of work in Kentucky.
He made regular deliveries over the years to the plant where I worked, and he developed a friendship with the teams working in the receiving department — eventually buying them lunch for unloading the trucks.
I remember one time he bought my crew Portillo’s Italian Beef from Chicago. It was the first time any of us had Italian beef, and Louis brought so much that we ate it for days.
Before Louis left the plant he would often shake the hand of the person who handed him the paperwork and say “thank you.” He left a lasting impression on all the workers he came in contact with and everyone was glad to see him return.
I became close friends with Louis in 2011. We had talked about wanting to start his own trucking company — and I knew he was intelligent and had what it took to create a successful company.
Louis was really good at multitasking, and would calmly drive from Chicago, be in touch with drivers and deal with any problems that arose.
Even though he was the “boss” he treated his drivers like they were his brothers. If there were shortages on his driver’s paychecks, he would give them the money to make up the difference. He always tried to do what was right.
Louis’ eyes lit up every time he talked about starting his own company, and when he finally started the business he worked day and night to get it off the ground.
Louis was about to achieve his dream, and others hoped to achieve their dreams through the success of his business. I hoped to retire early from my current job, and he hoped to help me make that happen. Others dreamed of just getting a job.
Louis worked a lot — too much if you ask me. He hoped that once his businesses started to hold its own he could get off the road and spend more time living a normal life. He said he wanted to make it up to his kids for all of the important times in their life he missed because he was on the road.
He often told me, “I want to get my kids up and grown, then I am going to live for me.”
Louis was about to achieve his goal and had drivers ready for the Nov. 1, 2013, launch of his new business, Wherry Transportation Services. He was fatally shot Oct. 4, 2013, in Austin community.
Family told DNAinfo Chicago he was shot trying to defend his son against a neighborhood bully.
He was so selfless that he wanted to help make others’ dreams come true when the business got off the ground, not just his own. He was unique. I have yet to meet someone as selfless and loyal as him.
He was only 36 years old, but he seemed so much more mature than most 36 year olds. He is the only man I have ever met who cared as much about my happiness as his own.
Louis had interests beyond just starting his business, and he liked a good meal. I often fixed BBQ baby back ribs for him because he loved the way I fixed them. He also loved lemonade. He drank more lemonade than anyone I knew. Now, any time I see a lemon or lemonade I think of him.
In 2013, Louis came to Russell Springs, Ky. to make a delivery the day after his birthday. I fixed him ribs, and he requested banana pudding for dessert. He was so thankful for the meal that he didn’t ask for a birthday gift. I will never forget that.
Like me, Louis loved music. We would often quiz each other about who signs songs. We both have competitive personalities, so neither of us wanted to be wrong and would laugh at each other if one of us got the artist wrong.
Louis had a great sense of humor, and if you heard him laugh then you would start laughing too. He had an infectious personality.
When he was with you, he always made sure you were taken care of. If you needed anything at all he made sure you had it. He was a true gem. He was so loving and caring. He was a big guy with an even bigger heart.
His death is such a major loss for me. He meant so much to me and coming to Chicago doesn’t feel right without him taking me to Leona’s for Italian or brining me Uncle Remus’ chicken when I didn’t feel like going out.
He was a great friend to me who I will never forget and will love forever.
When God made Louis, he made his very best.
They don’t make them like Louis anymore. He lived his life as an example of what a true man should be. I want him to never be forgotten and to have his memory honored because he was a wonderful human being.