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Dick Weisgerber

Sport: Football

Born: February 19, 1913

Died: June 1, 1984

Town: Kearny

Richard Arthur Weisgerber was born February 19, 1913 in Kearny and grew up in Newark. Fast and powerful, Dick was drawn to football as a boy and starred in high School for St. Benedict’s Prep. A good student, he attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Dick played fullback and defensive back and also handled kicking duties for Spec Keene’s Bearcats and was All-Northwest Conference in each of his four varsity seasons. He led the nation in PATs as a freshman in 1934 and was third in the country in scoring as a junior in 1936, In ’36 Dick was named as a Little All-American and made honorable mention as an AP All-American. Willamette went 26–8–1 during his career and were conference champions each season from 1934 to 1937. Dick also pitched for the Willamette baseball team.

On January 1, 1938, Dick agreed to play the following fall for the Green Bay Packers. He served as a backup to Ed Jankowski as a rookie and was basically a blocking fullback during his Green Bay career. The Packers lost to the Giants in the 1938 championship game. In 1939, they returned to the title game and this time defeated the Giants. Dick saw more playing time and distinguished himself as a valuable defensive player. He was picked to play in the Pro Bowl after the season. In 1940, Dick was a key member of a ball-hawking secondary that included Don Hutson and Lou Brock, contributing four interceptions.

The 1941 season found Dick on the sidelines as an assistant for Spec Keene. Willamette fielder a powerhouse squad, going 8–2 and outscoring their conference opponents 218–7. In December, the Bearcats traveled to Hawaii to play a series of games being billed as the Shrine Bowl. Their first game was a December 6th loss to the University of Hawaii. The next morning, Japanese planes attacker Pearl Harbor. Coach Keene volunteered his players for 10 days of guard duty while U.S. forces regrouped.

Dick played one more season for the Packers in 1942 before enlisting in World War II. He was injured in the service and did not return to pro football after his discharge. Dick lived and worked in Redmond, Washington for many years before moving back to the Green Bay area later in life. He passed away at the age of 71 in the town of Sturgeon Bay.


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