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Two former Packers alumni pass away on Tuesday

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Two former Packers alumni pass away on Tuesday

-- A pair of former Green Bay Packers -- both on the field and in the front office -- passed away recently.

Bob Skoronski, a member of Vince Lombardi's championship teams in the 1960s, died as a result of Alzheimer's disease Tuesday morning. He was 84.

Skoronski was one of the more underrated members of those teams. At least according to his former teammate Gary Knafecl, who, according to the team's press release, echoed that sentiment in 2016. "Bob was probably the smartest guy on our ball club. He could do it all. Bob was so good, nobody even thought about him. He was so underrated.

"Jerry [Kramer] and Fuzzy [Thurston] were always talking. Bob never said a word, just out-blocked everybody."

Skoronski was a fifth-round pick by the Packers in 1956. He played 11 seasons with the Packers, earning Pro Bowl honors in 1966 and an election into the Packers Hall of Fame 10 years later in 1976.

The second unfortunate passing was Tom Braatz, who was the team's vice president of football operations from 1987 to 1991. He, too, passed away Tuesday; he was 85.

Braatz was a 14th-round pick in the 1955 NFL Draft, playing for four different teams -- one of which being the Packers, however, only for a brief stint -- before announcing his retirement in 1961.

Braatz also climbed the totem pole in the Atlanta Falcons' organization. He was hired as an area scout in 1965, was named the director of player personnel in 1969, general manager in 1982 and eventually the director of college scouting after 1985.

His track record was prominent once he came to Green Bay, and that definitely proved to be the case. 

He's responsible for drafting wide receiver Sterling Sharpe in 1988 and LeRoy Butler in 1990. It was Braatz who acquired the first-round pick that his successor, Ron Wolf, would eventually use to trade for quarterback Brett Favre.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (4) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Hematite's picture

Thank you Bob and Tom for your contributions to the Green Bay Packers and Packers Nation.
May you both rest in peace.

Since '61's picture

I remember Bob Skoronski, number 76. He did an excellent job of protecting Bart Starr's blind side during the halcyon days of the Lombardi era. I'm sorry to learn of his passing.

The Packers began to improve somewhat under Tom Braatz. As mentioned in the article he made some significant contributions to the Packers organization. RIP Mr. Braatz.

Thanks, Since '61

Lphill's picture

R.I.P gentlemen

Tundraboy's picture

Great generation. RIP gentlemen.

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