The former Komets owner was 73. Services are pending and will likely be held next week.
Part of the Komets' statement on Welker from general manager David Franke: ``Current Komets general manager and co-owner David Franke served as sales and marketing director for the Komets under Welker during the 1988-89 season. "David's passing was a shock to all of us," Franke said. "David kept hockey going in Fort Wayne during a time of difficulty for the organization. David's heart was in the right place when he owned the Komets. Unfortunately his exit to Albany, New York was ill fated. His move to Albany made it possible for the Franke family to take control of the Komet franchise through the transfer of an idle Flint franchise at the time. David's son Billy had been David's caretaker since David moved to Shreveport. Billy can be proud of the caring help he gave his dad until his father's death."