Pro Football Player Deaths in 2011

Here is a list of the 126 pro football players that died in 2011.  The average age of death was 73.6 years. There were 15 players that died before age 55, the normal retirement age.

Let’s keep their “Legacy” alive in our hearts and minds!

I would like to thank Ken Crippen, the Executive Director Professional Football Researchers Association for supplying the information on player deaths. The Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and, in some cases, reconstructing professional football history.

You can see their website at this link:  http://www.profootballresearchers.org/

Player Teams Death

Age

Ray Abruzzese 1962-64 Buffalo Bills, 1965-66 New York Jets 8/22, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

73

Tom Addison 1960-67 Boston Patriots 6/14, Bluffton, SC

75

Houston Antwine 1961-70 Boston Patriots, 1971 New England Patriots, 1972 Philadelphia Eagles 12/26, Memphis, TN

72

Ricky Bell 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars, 1997-98 Chicago Bears 2/17, Columbia, SC

36

Marv Berschet 1954-55 Washington Redskins 7/12, South Charleston, OH

81

Forrest Blue 1968-74 San Francisco 49ers, 1975-78 Baltimore Colts 7/16, Carmichael, CA

65

Chuck Boerio 1952 Green Bay Packers 9/30, Boulder, CO

81

Reed Bohovich 1962 New York Giants 10/1, Richmond, TX

69

Danny Brabham 1963-67 Houston Oilers, 1968 Cincinnati Bengals 1/23, Baton Rouge, LA

69

Johnny Brewer 1961-67 Cleveland Browns, 1968-70 New Orleans Saints 5/27, Madison, MS

74

Paul Briggs 1948 Detroit Lions 2/14, Santa Ana, CA

90

Bill Brown 1943-44 Brooklyn Dodgers 4/29, Moon Township, PA

92

Orlando Brown 1994-95 Cleveland Browns, 1996-98 Baltimore Ravens, 1999 Cleveland Browns, 2003-05 Baltimore Ravens 9/23, Baltimore, MD

40

George Buksar 1949 Chicago Hornets, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1951-52 Washington Redskins 2/22, Solon, OH

84

Lewis Bush 1993-99 San Diego Chargers, 2000-02 Kansas City Chiefs 12/8, Tucson, AZ

42

Bob Callahan 1948 Buffalo Bills 3/10, Laguna Woods, CA

87

Len Calligaro 1944 New York Giants 6/15, Ironwood, MI

89

Justin Canale 1965-68 Boston Patriots, 1969 Cincinnati Bengals 10/11, Memphis, TN

68

Whit Canale 1966 Miami Dolphins, 1968 Boston Patriots 9/17, Memphis, TN

69

Ken Carpenter 1950-53 Cleveland Browns, 1960 Denver Broncos 1/28, Seaside, OR

84

Preston Carpenter 1956-59 Cleveland Browns, 1960-63 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1964-66 Washington Redskins, 1966 Minnesota Vikings, 1967 Miami Dolphins 6/30, Tulsa, OK

77

Don Chandler 1956-64 New York Giants, 1965-67 Green Bay Packers 8/11, Tulsa, OK

76

Lynn Chandnois 1950-56 Pittsburgh Steelers 4/19, Flint, MI

86

Lloyd Colteryahn 1954-56 Baltimore Colts 5/2, Dundin, FL

79

Clyde Conner 1956-63 San Francisco 49ers 12/12, Los Altos, CA

78

Terry Crouch 1982 Baltimore Colts 5/8, Dallas, TX

51

Doug Davis 1966-72 Minnesota Vikings 2/10, Brandon, FL

66

Hal Dean 1947-49 Los Angeles Rams 2/12, Midland, TX

88

Sam DeLuca 1960 Los Angeles Chargers, 1961 and 1963 San Diego Chargers, 1964-66 New York Jets 9/13, Pelham, NY

75

Paul Dickson 1959 Los Angeles Rams, 1960 Dallas Cowboys, 1961-70 Minnesota Vikings, 1971 St. Louis Cardinals 6/7, Minneapolis, MN

74

Dave Duerson 1983-89 Chicago Bears, 1990 New York Giants, 1991-93 Phoenix Cardinals 2/17, Sunny Isles Beach, FL

50

Jim Duncan 1950-53 New York Giants 1/5, Sunset Beach, NC

85

Pete Duranko 1967-74 Denver Broncos 7/8, Windber, PA

67

Gene Fekete 1946 Cleveland Browns 4/28, Columbus, OH

88

Ralph Felton 1954-60 Washington Redskins, 1961-62 Buffalo Bills 1/22, Midway, PA

78

Bernie Flowers 1956 Baltimore Colts 4/14, Bonita Springs, FL

81

Sid Fournet 1955-56 Los Angeles Rams, 1957 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1960-61 Dallas Texans, 1962 New York Titans, 1963 New York Jets 4/23, Slidell, LA

78

George Franck 1941, 1945-47 New York Giants 1/19, Rock Island, IL

92

Ben Fricke 1999-2001 Dallas Cowboys 2/21, Frisco, TX

35

Ed Frutig 1941 and 1945 Green Bay Packers, 1945-46 Detroit Lions 2/26, Vero Beach, FL

92

Greg Gantt 1974-75 New York Jets 10/26, Birmingham, AL

59

Peter Gent 1964-68 Dallas Cowboys 9/30, Bangor, MI

69

Cookie Gilchrist 1962-64 Buffalo Bills, 1965 Denver Broncos, 1966 Miami Dolphins, 1967 Denver Broncos 1/10, Penn Hills, PA

75

Gale Gillingham 1966-74, 1977 Green Bay Packers 10/20, Little Falls, MN

67

Ralph Goldston 1952, 1954-55 Philadelphia Eagles 7/9, Columbus, OH

82

Gene Gossage 1960-62 Philadelphia Eagles 5/1, Old Saybrook, CT

76

Otis Grant 1983-84 Los Angeles Rams, 1987 Philadelphia Eagles 5/29, Roswell, GA

49

Bill Gray 1947-48 Washington Redskins 8/18, Portland, OR

88

Garland Gregory 1946-47 San Francisco 49ers 4/28, Ruston, LA

92

George Groves 1947 Buffalo Bills, 1948 Baltimore Colts 7/23, Mexico, MO

90

Billy Hardee 1976 Denver Broncos, 1977 New York Jets 7/4, Phoenix, AZ

56

Jimmy Harris 1957 Philadelphia Eagles, 1958 Los Angeles Rams, 1960 Dallas Texans, 1961 Dallas Cowboys 8/9, Shreveport, LA

76

Richard Harris 1971-73 Philadelphia Eagles, 1974-75 Chicago Bears, 1976-77 Seattle Seahawks 7/26, Winnipeg, Manitoba

63

Joe Heap 1955 New York Giants 4/6, Covington, LA

79

Drew Hill 1979-84 Los Angeles Rams, 1985-91 Houston Oilers, 1992-93 Atlanta Falcons 3/19, Atlanta, GA

54

Glen Holloway 1970-73 Chicago Bears, 1974 Cleveland Browns 12/20, Corpus Christi, TX

64

Ron Holmes 1985-88 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1989-92 Denver Broncos 10/27, DuPont, WA

48

Kent Hull 1986-1996 Buffalo Bills 10/18, Greenwood, MS

50

Gerry Huth 1956 New York Giants, 1959-60 Philadelphia Eagles, 1961-63 Minnesota Vikings 2/11, Las Vegas, NV

77

Duke Iversen 1947 New York Giants, 1948-49 New York Yankees, 1950-51 New York Yanks 5/20, Petaluma, CA

91

Bill Johnson 1948-56 San Francisco 49ers 1/7, Ft. Myers, FL

84

John Henry Johnson 1954-56 San Francisco 49ers, 1957-59 Detroit Lions, 1960-65 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1966 Houston Oilers 6/3, Tracy, CA

81

Andre Jones 1992 Detroit Lions 6/22, Roswell, GA

42

Terry Joyce 1976-77 St. Louis Cardinals 6/17, St. Louis, MO

57

Jim Keane 1946-51 Chicago Bears, 1952 Green Bay Packers 3/8, McHenry, IL

87

Joe Krupa 1956-64 Pittsburgh Steelers 9/13, Chicago, IL

78

Ted Lapka 1943-44 and 1946 Washington Redskins 12/1, Naperville, IL

91

Shawn Lee 1988-89 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990-91 Miami Dolphins, 1992-97 San Diego Chargers, 1998 Chicago Bears 2/26, Raleigh, NC

44

Jim Lipinski 1950 Chicago Cardinals 5/28, Sarasota, FL

85

Nolan Luhn 1945-49 Green Bay Packers 11/27, Coffeyville, KS

90

Lenny Lyles 1958 Baltimore Colts, 1959-60 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-69 Baltimore Colts 11/20, Louisville, KY

75

John Mackey 1963-71 Baltimore Colts, 1972 San Diego Chargers 7/6, Baltimore, MD

69

Lloyd Madden 1940 Chicago Cardinals 12/26, Midland, TX

93

Vaughn Mancha 1948 Boston Yanks 1/27, Tallahassee, FL

89

Jim Mandich 1970-77 Miami Dolphins, 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers 4/26, Wellington, FL

62

Norm Masters 1957-64 Green Bay Packers 4/19, Bloomfield Hills, MI

77

Ollie Matson 1952, 1954-58 Chicago Cardinals; 1959-60 Los Angeles Rams, 1964,66 Philadelphia Eagles 2/19, Los Angeles, CA

80

Chester McGlockton 1992-94 Los Angeles Raiders, 1995-97 Oakland Raiders, 1998-2000 Kansas City Chiefs, 2001-02 Denver Broncos, 2003 New York Jets 11/30, San Ramon, CA

42

Hal Miller 1953 San Francisco 49ers 11/21, Kingsport, TN

81

Fred Molden 1987 Minnesota Vikings 11/1, Moss Point, MS

48

Red Moore 1947-49 Pittsburgh Steelers 12/14, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

89

George Mrkonic 1953 Philadelphia Eagles 5/23, Kansas City, KS

81

Godfrey Myles 1991-96 Dallas Cowboys 6/9, Miami, FL

42

John Nisby 1957-61 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1962-64 Washington Redskins 2/6, Stockton, CA

74

Tom O’Malley 1950 Green Bay Packers 6/11, York, PA

85

Ken Payne 1974-77 Green Bay Packers, 1978 Philadelphia Eagles 8/1, Oklahoma City, OK

60

Lindy Pearson 1950-52 Detroit Lions, 1952 Green Bay Packers 3/9, Oklahoma City, OK

82

Joe Perry 1948-60 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-62 Baltimore Colts, 1963 San Francisco 49ers 4/25, Tempe, AZ

84

Pete Pihos 1947-55 Philadelphia Eagles 8/16, Winston-Salem, NC

87

Hank Piro 1941 Philadelphia Eagles 4/18, Iowa City, IA

93

Eli Popa 1952 Chicago Cardinals 10/14, San Diego, CA

80

Bruce Radford 1979 Denver Broncos, 1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1981 St. Louis Rams 5/23, New Orleans, LA

55

Joe Restic 1952 Philadelphia Eagles 12/8, Boston, MA

85

Floyd Rice 1971-73 Houston Oilers, 1973-75 San Diego Chargers, 1976-77 Oakland Raiders, 1978 New Orleans Saints 11/8, Natchez, MS

62

Lee Riley 1955 Detroit Lions, 1956 and 1958-59 Philadelphia Eagles, 1960 New York Giants, 1961-62 New York Titans 6/9, Chicago, IL

78

Andy Robustelli 1951-55 Los Angeles Rams, 1956-64 New York Giants 5/31, Stamford, CT

85

Ed Royston 1948-49 New York Giants 7/16, Seaside Park, NJ

87

Rocky Ryan 1956-58 Philadelphia Eagles, 1958 Chicago Bears 11/3, Urbana, IL

79

Lee Roy Selmon 1976-84 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9/4, Tampa, FL

56

Harley Sewell 1953-62 Detroit Lions, 1963 Los Angeles Rams 12/17, Arlington, TX

80

Jim Seymour 1970-72 Chicago Bears 3/29, Highland Park, IL

64

Bob Shaw 1945 Cleveland Rams, 1946 Los Angeles Rams, 1949 Los Angeles Rams, 1950 Chicago Cardinals 4/10, Westerville, OH

89

Bill Shipp 1954 New York Giants 6/9, Mobile, AL

80

Paul Shoults 1949 New York Bulldogs 8/20, South Bend, IN

85

Bubba Smith 1967-71 Baltimore Colts, 1973-74 Oakland Raiders, 1975-76 Houston Oilers 8/3, Los Angeles, CA

66

Chuck Smith 1956 San Francisco 49ers 12/26, San Angelo, TX

78

Jerry Smith 1952-53, 1956 San Francisco 49ers, 1956 Green Bay Packers 8/6, San Diego, CA

80

George Speth 1942 Detroit Lions 8/24, Port Richey, FL

93

Ron Springs 1979-84 Dallas Cowboys, 1985-86 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5/12, Dallas, TX

54

Art Statuto 1948-49 Buffalo Bills, 1950 Los Angeles Rams 3/2, Carrolton, TX

85

Bill Stits 1954-56 Detroit Lions, 1957-58 San Francisco 49ers, 1959 Washington Redskins, 1959-61 New York Giants 12/5, Palm Desert, CA

80

Herb St. John 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1949 Chicago Hornets 6/29, Perry, GA

85

Skip Thomas 1972-77 Oakland Raiders 7/24, Kansas City, KS

61

Buddy Tinsley 1949 Los Angeles Dons 9/14, Winnipeg, Manitoba

88

Joe Tofflemire 1990, 1992, 1994 Seattle Seahawks 9/27, Coeur d’Alene, ID

46

Steve Trimble 1981-83 Denver Broncos, 1987 Chicago Bears 7/11, Ashburn, VA

53

Deacon Turner 1978-80 Cincinnati Bengals 7/10, Bakersfield, CA

56

Tommy Watkins 1961 Cleveland Browns, 1962-65 and 1967 Detroit Lions, 1968 Pittsburgh Steelers 10/29, Detroit, MI

74

Allan Webb 1961-65 New York Giants 7/18, Burlingame, CA

78

Bob White 1951-52 San Francisco 49ers, 1955 Cleveland Browns, 1955 Baltimore Colts 3/5, Southlake, TX

81

Norm Willey 1950-57 Philadelphia Eagles 8/18, Newark, DE

83

George Wilson, Jr. 1966 Miami Dolphins 8/6, Weeki Wachee, FL

68

Cal Withrow 1970 San Diego Chargers, 1971-73 Green Bay Packers, 1974 St. Louis Cardinals 7/3, Lexington, KY

65

Wally Yonamine 1947 San Francisco 49ers 2/28, Honolulu, HI

85

Frank Ziegler 1949-53 Philadelphia Eagles 3/6, Gainsville, GA

87

Bob Zimny 1945-49 Chicago Cardinals 8/11, Shelbyville, IN

89

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About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on January 7, 2012, in NFL Alumni News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Missed the passing of Ron Kramer – Packers and Lions and a great friend- “That’s Just Kramer.”

  2. You forgot Gary Big Hands Johnson, and James Hound Dog Hunter both from Grambling College

    • Jackie:

      The article I posted was for players that died in 2011.

      Gary Johnson died on August 4, 2010 and James (Hound Dog) Hunter died on August 2, 2010.

      Jeff Nixon

  3. We LOVE and RESPECT all of these GREAT men. I wish all of there families the best. 1luv, Lew Bush, Ron Springs, Orlando Brown and Big Chester. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. R.I.P.

  4. Too many dying young. We need continued education, support, and pressure to protect our future. Thank you for shaing this information. Eye opening and a good opportunity to remember our teammates.

  5. Jeff,

    What a great initiative. Thank you very much. This gives us all another opportunity to recall our friends from the past one more time. Each one of these guys has his own story and some of us have our own memories of them. Thanks again.

    Lee Folkins
    Green Bay 1961
    Dallas 1962-64
    Pittsburgh 1965

  6. I respect anybody who went through an NFL training camp–saw two of my teammates on the “list”(Holloway and Seymour) who sweated with me in Indiana at the Bears camp–early 70’s. Do something smart today–seek the Lord–we all will stand before Him some day. You want to make that cut.

  7. May God stand by eav family. on this time meed.
    God works in syrange ways

  8. Big Chet – It was nice to know you. R.I.P. – For all of you big guys – save your heart from heart failure – I imagine that was the cause for Chet – supplement your diet with mega-doses of Omega 3 fish oil and Ubiquinol – not a cure, but it will enhance your quality of life….

  9. Jeff, thanks for doing this. I got it from Bob Horn, a retired player but for some reason I didn’t get it. I will look into it. There are guys I played with (Greg Gantt) and guys I played against (too many to name). It’s amazing to realize how much older we’re getting and the changes in the game. Thanks again.

    Ed Galigher, NY Jets 1972-76, SF 49er’s 1977-79

  10. Jackie Burkett

    Jeff, thanks for this update, saw a bunch of my old teammates and opponents on this list.
    Baltimore, Dallas and Saints, some I knew about and some I didn’t.
    Hope they make a move on our increase in retirement pay before you find me on this list.
    Jackie Burkett 1960–1970

  11. God bless all of them. It was only a moment ago that we went after each other.

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