Packers Hall of Fame guard Gillingham dies at 67

October 24, 2011 - 12:52 AM
Obit Gillingham Football

This undated photo shows Gale Gillingham. Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame guard Gale Gillingham died Thursday Oct. 20, 2011 at his home in Little Falls, Minn. He was 67. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , File)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame guard Gale Gillingham died at his home in Minnesota while lifting weights, his son said Friday. He was 67.

Wade Gillingham said the former Pro Bowler appeared to have had a heart attack Thursday at his home in Little Falls, but his family doesn't have confirmation on a cause of death.

Gillingham, inducted in the Packers Hall of Fame in 1982, was Green Bay's first-round draft choice and 13th overall in 1966 from the University of Minnesota. He played off the bench as a rookie and took veteran Fuzzy Thurston's spot during the 1967 season opposite All-Pro Jerry Kramer during the Vince Lombardi era.

He blocked for Bart Starr when the quarterback was leading the Packers to the first two Super Bowl victories in 1967 and 1968 and after leaving the team in 1974, returned to play for Starr when he was coach in 1976. Gillingham was a five-time Pro Bowler, six-time All Pro and played in 128 regular-season games for the Packers.

Wade Gillingham, 40, said his father retired last fall after operating Goedker Realty in Minnesota following his professional football career.

"He was a great Dad, a humble man and simple," his son said.

Gillingham, born in Madison, moved to Little Falls, Minn., with his family when he was in high school. He was divorced with three sons and a daughter and traveled the world watching two of his sons compete in strongman and power-lifting contests.