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Chicago Blackhawks honor late chairman Rocky Wirtz with memorial at United Center

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CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks fans are celebrating the life of the team’s late chairman Rocky Wirtz on Wednesday.

The memorial service is being held at the United Center and is open to the public, with first-come, first-serve seating for the formal ceremony. Once completed, the United Center will remain open to fans to pay their respects to the late owner, who died after a brief illness on July 25 at 70-years-old.

Wirtz took over as chairman in 2007 from his father, but the team has been in the Wirtz family since 1954 when Rocky’s grandfather purchased it.

After taking the helm, Rocky led a rebirth of the Chicago Blackhawks, getting the games on TV and ushering in a new general of fans. His commitments helped deliver Stanley Cup victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

Wirtz also lead the Blackhawks foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to charities focused on things like housing and youth programs.

Wirtz is survived by his wife Marilyn, four children and six grandchildren. His son Danny released a statement earlier this week, saying “his passing leaves a huge hole in the hearts of many and we will miss him terribly.”

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