The Green Bay Packers and WPS Health Solutions paid a special '100 Seasons' tribute to 100-year-old World War II veteran Eugene Nordby and his family during Sunday's Packers-Lions game for 'Operation Fan Mail.'
Nordby, originally from Baldwin, Wisconsin, earned his medical degree in 1943 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison before serving as a military surgeon in the United States Army Medical Corps during World War II. He served first in Okinawa, Japan, and then in South Korea following the war, and achieved the rank of captain during his time on active duty from 1944 to 1946.
Upon his return from military service in 1947, he began practicing medicine in Madison, Wisconsin, and soon became board-certified in orthopedic surgery. Later, Nordby became chief of the medical staff and was the first physician elected to the hospital's board of directors. He also partnered in a private orthopedic practice, serving communities in southern Wisconsin without orthopedic surgeons, and founded and led a variety of orthopedic organizations in Wisconsin and around the country,
Nordby served on the board of WPS Health Solutions for 55 years, including 30 as its board chair, while it grew into an independent, not-for-profit corporation.
Nordby married his late wife, Olive Nordby, in 1941, and they spent more than 70 years together. An award-winning artist and philanthropist, Olive passed away in 2014. The couple had one son, Jon Nordby, PhD, now a retired forensic scientist. The grandson of four Norwegian grandparents, Nordby and his wife also actively celebrated their Norwegian heritage and spent time with organizations and museums that preserved and promoted Norwegian history.
Nordby attended Sunday's game with his son, Jon; friend Jim Riordan, who is past President and CEO of WPS; and Mike Hamerlik, the President and CEO of WPS Health Solutions.
Operation Fan Mail, which debuted in 2007, is designed to honor families with a member who is on active duty, or a member who is a veteran. The family member can be a spouse, mother, father, son, daughter or sibling. The Packers and WPS Health Solutions hosted a family at each 2018 home game and recognize them on the field during pregame activities. A total of 117 individuals or families have been recognized through the program thus far.
To choose families for next season, the Packers and WPS Health Solutions are asking interested families, or friends of eligible families, to submit an essay, 500 words or less, on why a particular fan should be saluted next season. Essays can be sent to: Operation Fan Mail, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628 or submitted online at nfl.packers.com/gameday/gameday_promotions/operation_fan_mail/.
In addition to being recognized on-field prior to the game, selected families receive four tickets to the game.