Fell in Love with a Wirtz, and Hockey

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 3, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Fell in Love with a Wirtz, and Hockey

Byline: Mick Zawislak mzawislak@dailyherald.com

Sunny Ann Wirtz ~ 1939-2010

The Chicago Blackhawks may have been a family businesses, but the love of hockey was personal for Sunny Ann Wirtz.

"Even though she wasn't well the past six months, she made sure she got to the hockey game come hell or high water," said Angelo Creticos, one of the team's former examining physicians and a colleague of Wirtz for more than 40 years.

Sunny Wirtz, the wife of the late Arthur M. Wirtz Jr., died Sunday from complications of cancer. She was 70. She was the aunt of current Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz.

The ties to hockey ran deep for Sunny Wirtz. The romance with Arthur began in March 1962, when the Hawks, one of the original six National Hockey League teams, played the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup semifinals. Both their parents lived in the same building in Chicago.

The families had traveled together to Montreal, and after one of the games, one relative playfully asked Arthur to take Sunny out to dinner.

"They kept dating and were married in August of that year," said her daughter, Laura Jenkins.

The hockey team became an extended family for Sunny and Arthur, Jenkins said. The marquee names were more than just players to watch on the ice.

A native of Wisconsin, Sunny Wirtz also was a fan of the Green Bay Packers and loved to fish, be it in the North Woods of Wisconsin or the Bahamas.

"She was a very strong woman, very tough," Jenkins said.

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