When Bob arrived in Green Bay as a fellow rookie in 1956, I immediately understood why the Packers were wise enough to draft him many rounds ahead of me. Bob was not merely a talented offensive tackle, he also possessed a tremendous work ethic and extraordinary intelligence. His competitive spirit was contagious.
Bob's love for – and loyalty to – our country meant we had to play without him the following two years, as he served in the Air Force. Although I wish he had been with us, his winning attitude was better served with the arrival of Coach Lombardi in 1959. Many of you well know of my belief that Bob's quality of play warranted inclusion into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
What is more important was Bob's character as a person. One of the most memorable and cherished events every year for our family was driving from Green Bay to the Skoronski home south of Appleton for a Christmas gathering. Together with his wonderful wife Ruth Ann and their four children, Bob made us feel as though we were a part of his family.
Bob's vision and drive carried him to success in the business world as well, yet he never discussed his personal achievements. Rather, he would tell me how thrilled he was to help the families of his employees, knowing their children might get the same opportunities he had to attend college. That unselfish focus on the community is the sort of legacy each of us should emulate.
The Green Bay Packers have lost one of their greatest players. Our family has lost a dear friend, a man I have always admired as much as anyone I ever met. Bob protected me on the field, he inspired me off the field, and he will forever be known as a man of the highest integrity. May God be with you, Bob, and with your family.