Michael Franke, president and co-owner of the Komets, passed away at the age 63

Michael Franke

The hockey community in Fort Wayne is mourning the loss of Michael Franke, president and co-owner of the Komets, who passed away on December 10 at the age of 63 after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Early Life and Education:

Michael Franke was born in 1960, and he was a proud graduate of Purdue University in Fort Wayne. His connection to the city and its community would become a central theme in his life as he went on to shape the destiny of the Fort Wayne Komets, a minor league ice hockey team.

The Komets Legacy:

In 1990, Michael, along with his brothers Steve, David, Richard, and Bill, purchased the Komets franchise. This marked the beginning of a new era for the team, and under the Franke brothers’ leadership, the Komets achieved significant success. Notably, the team secured seven titles in five different leagues, showcasing their prowess and dedication to the sport.

Recognition and Awards:

Michael’s commitment to hockey was not only evident in his role with the Komets but also in his broader influence on the sport. In 2017, he and his siblings, along with Scott Sproat, a co-owner of the San Francisco Giants, were honoured with Mad Anthony Red Coats. This recognition speaks to their lasting impact on the Fort Wayne community and the broader sports landscape.

Michael’s Battle with Cancer

Michael Franke’s battle with cancer was a testament to his resilience and determination. Reports indicate that he faced skin cancer for decades and battled T-cell lymphoma in recent years. Unfortunately, his health took a downturn following knee replacement surgery in the spring, ultimately leading to his passing at Stillwater Hospice in Fort Wayne.

The Fort Wayne Komets shared the news of Michael’s passing through a heartfelt Facebook post, marking the end of an era for the organisation.

The hockey community mourns the loss of a beloved figure, remembering Michael Franke not only for his contributions to the sport but also for the indelible mark he left on the hearts of those who knew him.

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Michael Franke’s legacy

In the world of hockey, Michael Franke’s legacy as a leader, visionary, and dedicated team owner will continue to resonate. His impact on the Fort Wayne Komets and the broader hockey landscape serves as an inspiration for future generations. As the hockey community mourns his loss, Michael Franke will be remembered not only for his achievements on the ice but also for the enduring legacy he leaves behind.


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