Violet "Vi" Ullyot, long-time wife of Komets' coach, general manager and owner Ken Ullyot, died Saturday morning at age 87.
She moved to Fort Wayne with her husband in 1958 when he was named the team's coach. While Ken took care of the team business on the ice with the players, Vi Ullyot quickly became the first lady and matriarch of Komets hockey, often helping take care of the team members' wives and families off the ice. Her husband may have been the boss of the team, but she was the person everyone turned to when they needed advice or help with trouble. She was part of the glue that turned the franchise into a family.
"I couldn't have done any of this without her," her husband said.
They were married Aug. 15, 1942 in Askwith, Saskatchewan. She was originally from Vancouver.
Ullyot was known for her easy laugh, generosity and excellent cooking, and until last year, loved attending most home games. She always dressed up for the games, usually had a drink in her hand and always had time for any fan who stopped by to chat. They weren't fans to her but friends. Then she'd go home and give her husband a full scouting report on the game.
She is survived by her husband, her daughter Donna (Steve) Thompson and son Ron (Laurie) of Orlando, Fla., four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. Donna because a nurse and Ron Ullyot is a former Komets player and coach. Ken and Ron Ullyot are one of the very few father-son combinations whose names are inscribed on the International Hockey League's Turner Cup.
Services are pending.