Chase family grateful for memories and Komets win

The Komets will continue selling patches commemorating the 63-year career of broadcaster Bob Chase at Saturday's home game against Cincinnati. (Photo courtesy of Fort Wayne Komets)

There was a bit of melancholy for Bob Chase’s family Thursday as the Komets celebrated the first Bob Chase Memorial Game, honoring their 63-year broadcaster who passed away last Thanksgiving.

Everyone was thrilled with the team’s 5-4 comeback win over Toledo, and they were happy to be in Fort Wayne, traveling from Michigan, Colorado and Alabama. They were also happy to help with their dad’s favorite charity, WOWO’s Penny Pitch.

They were also missing their dad and grandfather.

“It’s been a year of lots of interesting things that have gone on with the passing of dad, and in July my older brother passing away,” said Kurt Wallenstein, Bob’s oldest son. “Trips to Fort Wayne have not been joyous occasions until tonight, and tonight has been pretty special.”

Eighteen of the family members attended the game to commemorate Bob but also help the Komets and WOWO kick off this year’s Penny Pitch drive which will benefit Shepherd’s House. The Komets sold copies of the patches the players wore on their uniforms last season after Chase’s death. The patches cost $10 and the supply is expected to run out during Saturday’s game against Cincinnati.

The family dinner also was spectacular. Daughter Karin Thomsen rented a local farmhouse, and everyone brought way too much food. Grandson Erik excelled by making Bob’s gravy and providing some new memories.

“Erik helped do some of the cooking so the gravy was exactly the way Dad would have made it because he spent a lot of time with Dad learning the secrets of Wallenstein cooking from potato sausage to meat pie to turkey gravy,” Kurt Wallenstein said.

The real highlight of the day was Bob’s wife Murph meeting her newest great-grandchild, Robert Jay Wallenstein, the son of Chad and Sara Wallenstein.

“There was so much happiness and laughter and we have a new baby in the family and Mom was so happy about meeting a new baby named Robert,” Thomsen said. “We just miss having his presence there, but we know his love is still there and we were all grateful.”