Legendary Valparaiso football player, Fuzzy Thurston, who starred on the Crusader football team from 1953-1955 and later went on to have a successful career with the Green Bay Packers, passed away Sunday evening at the age of 80 after a two-folded battle with both Alzheimer's disease and cancer.
Thurston was a two-time All-American in 1954 and 1955 as an offensive lineman and was selected as the Indiana Collegiate Conference (ICC's) Most Valuable Lineman in 1955. Also a two-time All-ICC choice, Thurston helped the Crusaders to a 17-7-2 record during his career, which included a conference title in 1954. He was amongst the 15 charter members to be inducted into the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.
Thurston was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1956 before making his NFL debut with the Baltimore Colts in 1958. There, he won his first of six NFL Championships. The following year, iconic Packer head coach Vince Lombardi traded for Thurston. Green Bay went on to win five championships from 1961-1968 with Thurston as an offensive lineman, including the famous Ice Bowl of 1967.
He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1975, elected to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1982, and voted into the Wisconsin Hall of Fame in 2003. Thurston remains one of only three players in the history of professional football to play on six World Championship teams.
Thurston was preceded in death by his wife, Susan. He is survived by his three children Mark, Griff, and Tori in addition to three grandchildren Olivia, Fred, and Joey Kluck.