GREEN BAY—One more time, Jerry Kramer pulled out from guard and led the Packers sweep, but this time he was running interference alone. This time, he was blocking for the man whose name is forever linked to Kramer's. The greatest pulling guard combination in the history of football is now a solo.
"It's impossible to explain the relationship you had with a guy for 55 years," Kramer said, fighting back tears through his eulogy to a crowd of about 300 that attended a memorial service for Fuzzy Thurston on Friday at the Lambeau Field Atrium.
Kramer and Thurston: You can't say one without saying the other. They were the leaders of the Packers' power sweep. They were the seal here and a seal here to which Vince Lombardi famously referred. Now, there is just Kramer, following Thurston's passing on Sunday at the age of 80.
"Native son, loved by everyone in Wisconsin," Kramer said in a eulogy that evoked laughter and tears. It was Kramer at his best, and he was naturally and respectfully the last to speak. He had to be.
"He had a way to light up your life. We're going to miss him," Kramer said, and then finished with this: "Fuz had a helluva ride, a wonderful journey."
Hall of Fame linebacker Dave Robinson was also on hand to say goodbye to his teammate.
"I thought Fuzzy was bigger than life. I thought he'd be around forever," Robinson said.
Robinson referred to Thurston as "the heart and soul of that Packers team," the Packers team that won five league titles under Lombardi in the 1960s. Thurston also won a league title with the 1958 Colts, giving him six in all.
"The thing that made us a team was Fred Fuzzy Thurston," Robinson said. "Fuzzy Thurston is going to be deeply missed. A great Wisconsinite, a great Green Bay Packer. Fuzzy, we all love you, we're all going to miss you. I can't wait to see you again, Fuz."
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy spoke of the connection between Thurston and Packers fans.
"No one personified the connection between the team and the fans more than Fuzzy. His radiance attracted so many fans to him," Murphy said.
Fred "Fuzzy" Thurston's celebration of life was held on December 19, 2014 and was open to the public. Photos by Matt Becker and Tyler Gajewski, Packers.com.