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John Youngblood responds to death of Chuck Wiersch

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Youngblood Auto Group owner John Youngblood yesterday responded to the death of his longtime business partner, Chuck Wiersch.

Following an SBJ.net article posted yesterday morning about Wiersch’s March 5 death, Youngblood returned Springfield Business Journal’s inquiry seeking comment.

“We were involved for 40 years as business partners and great friends,” Youngblood said, ahead of Wiersch’s scheduled 2 p.m. celebration of life today at Greenlawn Funeral Home East. “We were like brothers to each other.”

Youngblood said Wiersch remained a co-owner of Youngblood Auto until his death. He also was the previous general manager of Youngblood Auto’s 3505 S. Campbell Ave. dealership and was succeeded there by current manager John Widiger, Youngblood said. Youngblood declined to disclose how Wiersch’s stake in the company would be dispersed.

Wiersch was nearing retirement, but Youngblood said he still worked a couple days a week and would prepare lunch for employees on Saturdays.

Wiersch also was the personality behind Youngblood Auto’s commercials featuring the tagline, “What a place!” Youngblood was unsure who originally came up for the idea behind the energetic promos, in which Wiersch would throw his hands into the air while shouting the slogan.

“We’re both in charge of advertising ideas,” Youngblood said.

Youngblood also declined to say what caused Wiersch’s death at age 62. Wiersch’s obituary indicates he died “unexpectedly at his home.”

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