Bart Starr's family discussing plans for public celebration of his life in Green Bay
GREEN BAY – A celebration of life in Green Bay for legendary Packers quarterback Bart Starr is being discussed, though details are unlikely to be finalized before next week.
Bart Starr Jr. said Tuesday that “dozens of ideas” for a ceremony in Green Bay to honor his father have been considered, and the family is “absolutely, 100 percent committed” to celebrating Starr’s life with Packers fans. Among the many ideas is to use Lambeau Field as the setting, either in the atrium or stadium bowl.
A Packers spokesperson said there was nothing to announce regarding a potential celebration of Starr's life. Starr Jr. said the goal is to finalize details in the next 10 days.
“We want to do something that in no way conflicts with anything the Packers are about to do this year,” said Starr Jr., referring to the team’s 100th birthday. “Because this is a big season for them. We want to pick a time and a place that, if anything, would be supportive of the city of Green Bay and the Packers rather than conflict in any way.
“Dad would just not do anything unless he felt like it was fully embraced, and he felt like he was contributing to the community rather than detracting from it. So we will get that right.”
Bart Starr, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback who guided Vince Lombardi’s championship teams, died in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was 85.
His health had deteriorated since a near-fatal stroke in September 2014. Starr died surrounded by family, including wife Cherry, in Birmingham, Ala.
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“I think everybody is doing pretty well,” Starr Jr. said. “My mom, as you can imagine, she’s pretty exhausted because we all went quite a while without any sleep, because my dad happened to pass away early in the morning Sunday morning. So that night was obviously gone, and then in trying to recover, it’s still important to make sure we’re not falling behind in trying to communicate with individuals, and stay on top of that. Because that would be the way to honor my dad. He was really good with that.”
A small, private funeral will be held this week in Alabama for family and close friends. Then, Starr Jr. said, plans for a ceremony in Green Bay will begin to materialize.
“We don’t want this to linger too long,” Starr Jr. said. “We want to set it up. We have just received so many wonderful calls and emails saying, ‘Could you do something up here?’ The answer is, ‘Absolutely,’ but we need to get this right. It’s important to do so, because you know how much Dad adored everybody up there."
“I know Mom and Dad feel like the least they can do for all the community gave to them for over three decades would be to do something as a thank you to them. You hear about it going both ways, but that’s when a relationship is really special, when both parties feel like they’re getting a lot out of that relationship.”