According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, Wings Owner Ray T. “Ted” Parfet passed away Monday morning at age 84.
Mr. Parfet was one of the classiest people I've ever met in hockey, which is why I honor him with the ``Mr.'' He was an icon of minor league hockey and an excellent friend to the Komets during their days in both the IHL and the UHL. There were often times when the Frankes and the Parfets seemed to be the only voice of reason in the IHL, and they almost always worked together. Mr. Parfet always treated his fellow owners as partners and not competitors.
This is a huge loss for fans of minor league hockey and Komets fans. Though there has always been a rivalry with the Wings, there was never a rivalry among the owners or the way they always treated each other with class. If ever the Frankes needed something, they knew they could ask Parfet for help or advice or whatever was needed.
This is what Komets President Michael Franke had to say about Ted Parfet:
``From our perspective he was there at the very beginning. He was at
the first meeting Dave and Steve and I had a with the IHL people in the summer
of 1990. It was his attitude and his straightforwardness that made us look at
each other when we walked out of that meeting and say, `Wow, these people are
pretty good.' He was always the voice of reason within the league. When he got
back into it in the UHL, we had several conversations over the past few years
about how important it was not to ever allow that to happen again. When he
needed to get out the IHL and then the league folded, that bothered him. He was
every cognizant with that with the UHL team in Kalamazoo.''
Another interesting thing about Ted and Martha Parfet? They sit right in the middle of the crowd in Kalamazoo, and the fans have always treated them with respect. The Parfets are also tremendous philanthropists in the Kalamazoo area. It was not uncommon for Parfet to take job candidates to lunch at a soup kitchen, have a bowl of soup and leave $50 in the till.
``Unfortunately there aren't many Ted Parfets left, not only in the hockey business but in the world. He was just an incredible individual. You could not have ever asked for a better partner than Ted Parfet. He was about the league, not necessarily what was good for an individual team
or his team, but what was best for the league. You couldn't asked for a more giving partner, a man of reason and of compromise.''
The Wings were already in the process of being sold to someone hand-picked by Parfet.