Wayne Timpe, the owner of minor league basketball's longest tenured team, died Wednesday morning at St. Anthony's Hospital on his 62nd birthday. Sports director Mike Garrigan has more on the passing of his former boss.
He wasn't just the lightning owner, he was also the lightning's biggest fan and you knew that when you attended a game. Cheering on with you from his seat was the always-approachable Wayne Timpe.
But after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last January, Timpe was only able to attend two games. One was this seasons' home opener against Great Lakes. Timpe has owned part of the lightning since 1993 and has owned it outright since 1998. Timpe also owned LKG Industries named after his three daughters and his workshop was located within earshot of the lightning office. He just wanted to be close to the action and share all the stories about golfing with 7 foot 4 inch former lightning assistant Ralph Sampson, or signing Pecatonica native Chris Westlake or the amazing plays of Timpe's favorite lightning and current CBA leading scorer Ronnie fields. When I was media relations director for the lightning Timpe told me that Chris Daleo was his easiest coaching hire, and the man who Timpe respected so much talked to me Wednesday about his boss and friend.