How Did Gary Knafelc Die? Packers Hall of Fame Member Cause of Death Explained

Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Gary Knafelc has passed away at the age of 90.

Who was Gary Knafelc

Gary was an American Football player. Knafelc was a receiver and tight end for the Packers from 1954-62 and served as the public address announcer for the team from 1964-2004. He was one of the few former Packers to make his home in Green Bay after his playing days ended, as Knafelc owned an interior design company after his football career ended.

Born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado, Knafelc graduated from Central High School in 1950 . He played college football at the University of Colorado in Boulder under head coach Dal Ward.

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Knafelc was a member of Vince Lombardi’s first two NFL title teams in 1961 and 1962 . He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1976. He was the public address announcer for Packers games at Lambeau Field from 1964 until 2004, when he was succeeded by Bill Jartz of WBAY-TV.

Knafelc played for the Packers

From 1954 through 1962, Knafelc was a member of the Green Bay Packers, and in 1976. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame. From 1964 to 2004, he served as the PA announcer for Packers home games, including those held at Milwaukee County Stadium.

He was also one of the few Packers of his generation to call Green Bay home both. He was a player and for the majority of his life after his career was over.

From 1955 through 1959, a five-year period, Knafelc grabbed three game-winning passes, two of which were among the most evocative catches in Packers history. He also had the distinction of being selected to start at the crucial tight end position in Lombardi’s scheme during the now-famous coach’s first training camp, which was a true test of character.

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“It was a broken play,” Knafelc recalled
Two years earlier, in another season opener against three-time defending Western Conference champion Detroit, Knafelc caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tobin Rote with 20 seconds remaining that gave the Packers a stunning 20-17 victory and created a scene perhaps unlike any other not only in Packers history but NFL history.

Despite there being time left on the clock, hundreds if not thousands of joyous fans stormed out of the stands at old City Stadium, surrounded Knafelc in the end zone, and carried him off the field to the Packers’ bench, delaying the extra point and ensuing kickoff for several minutes.

Following his retirement

After retiring, Knafelc started a business in Green Bay where he specialized in interior design, primarily for commercial buildings. At the end of his acting career, he appeared as Gary Kincaid in the Hollywood film “Palm Springs Weekend” in 1963.

Knafelc was selected by the Chicago Cardinals with the 14th overall pick in the 1954 NFL Draft. The Cardinals traded Knafelc to the Green Bay Packers early in the following season. The only player ever to be carried off the field at City Stadium or Lambeau Field by fans is Knafelc. That occurred when he grabbed an 18-yard touchdown throw from Tobin Rote in the last seconds of the 1955 season opener, a 20-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.

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Gary Knafelc’s Cause of Death

Knafelc passed away in Florida’s Clermont early on Monday morning, according to the team’s confirmation on Monday. Alongside him was his wife Emily. The cause of death was not disclosed in any more detail.

According to reports, the Knafelc family will hold a modest funeral service for the Packers great in Florida, where they have resided for the past ten years.

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