(Ryan Wrecker / 1190 WOWO)

We learned with heavy hearts that Bob Chase died today at the age of 90.

The WOWO Legend is known to almost everyone in Fort Wayne. For more than 60 years, Bob was the voice of the Komets, the spokesperson for Penny Pitch and a cornerstone to WOWO heritage and history.  

Bob was born with the name Robert Donald Wallenstein in Neqaunne, Mich.  He later adopted his wife’s maiden name for his broadcasting career.

(Archive / WOWO Radio)
(Archive / WOWO Radio)

When he turned 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he worked as a cryptographer during World War II. In 1950, Bob married Muriel Chase. They went on to have four children.

He moved to Fort Wayne to accept a job at WOWO in 1953, and would continue employment until his retirement as Sports Director in 2009.

Through his time with the station, he would cover the biggest sports events in the area, including several Komets Hockey Championships, the Indy 500, IHSAA tournament basketball, college football and more.  He was also on hand for the famous Milan v.s. Muncie Central game that was the basis for the movie Hoosiers.

Bob Chase interview ElvisHe would also interview many artists as part of the original Fabulous Four, including a young Elvis Presley.  With Westinghouse using WOWO as a test market, Bob became one of the earliest “Disc Jockeys” in the country as the station broke away from satellite programming in favor of playing their own music.

Last January, the Komets celebrated Bob’s 90th birthday where Mike “Doc” Emrick surprised Bob.  Chase has served as a mentor to Emrick, who is now considered the top announcer for the sport.

Bob Chase calls a game with his most famous student, Mike "Doc" Emrick (Photo supplied/Fort Wayne Komets)
Bob Chase calls a game with his most famous student, Mike “Doc” Emrick (Photo supplied/Fort Wayne Komets)

This season would have been Chase’s 64th straight year announcing Komets hockey for WOWO.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The best hockey play by play personality ever. A great man who will be missed dearly. Thank you Bob for your service to the country and to our community.

  2. For my entire life I heard Bob call hockey games on WOWO which are great early memories of mine, he inspired me to call play by play for a local junior hockey team on live internet broadcasts. I will always remember how I would set my standards high as if Bob Chase were in the same room so as to give respect to the profession which he set such a long time ago. My heart aches now of your passing but I know you have a new job now and that is praising the Lord who you loved so much, so now as we will always miss the sound of your voice on WOWO we will be rest assured that the Lord will receive your praise and worship eternally….God bless your and your entire family and friends.

  3. I LISTENED TO BOB, AS WELL AS BOB SIVERS JAY GOULD AND THE REST FROM THE TIME I WAS A KID…I’M 71 NOW…WHAT A LEGAND IN INDIANA RADIO !

  4. He was a kind man to this writer who interviewed him in Sept about his military service as a cryptographer (code maker) during WWII. He was patient and courteous and I consider him a great asset to my group of WWII interivews. I thanked him for his service and hope his family and friends realize what a great patriot he was to the end.

  5. I’ve never played a game of hockey in my life, but it is one of the most enjoyable games for me to watch. I was introduced to it by Bob Chase on WOWO. I remember his call of an exhibition game when the Montreal Canadians came to the Colosseum to play the IHL champion Fort Wayne Komets.
    Eddie Long, Len Thornston, and the rest battled hard but lost by a couple goals. Wow- as Bob would often shout – what an effort our Komets gave that night. I always wondered why he never took an NHL announcers position. I felt he was one of the top announcers of hockey anywhere. Thank you, Bob. Enjoy your timeless, blessed eternity.

  6. I grew up in Green Bay, and Bob Chase introduced hockey to me as a grade school kid. In season, I snuck my transistor radio into bed on overcast nights and picked up,his WOWO broadcasts. Eventually, I wound up in metro Detroit, and I became a fan of the Detroit Vipers of the IHL. I was fortunate to meet Bob and his wife Muriel twice on Komet games here vs, the Vipers. He and Muriel were so personable. I,even took him up on his suggestion that I visit Ft. Wayne to see their expanded Veterans Arena. Bob sold,the game of hockey to me and to thousands more by living his dream! SAFE ~~~ HOME ~~~ BOB & MURIEL

Leave a Reply to Doc Farmer Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here