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FRANK "Gunner" GATSKI

(Nov 25, 2005)

FRANK "Gunner" GATSKI, 84, of Rt. 1, Grafton, W.Va., passed away Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005. He was born in No. 9 Coal Camp in Farmington, W.Va., March 18, 1921, son of the late Louie and Etta (Pietrowski) Gatski. Surviving are seven children; Frank Gatski and wife Carol of Portland, Mich., Karen Guliani and husband James, and Anne Harman, both of Morgantown, Louis Gatski and wife Sandra of Springfield, Va., John Gatski and wife Milagras of Kensington, Md., Steven Gatski of Thornton and Joseph P. Gatski; six grandchildren: Rachel Harman, Laura Guliani, Jason Gatski, Katie Gatski, Alex Guliani and Elias Gatski; also survived by several nieces and nephews. Mr. Gatski is the last surviving member of his immediate family. He was preceded in death by three brothers: Benny, Paul and John Gatski; one sister; Mary Louise Gatski, a son-in-law, Kyle Harman; and one grandson, Christopher Harman. Mr. Gatski was a member of the Cleveland Browns in the 1940s and 1950s; was an all-pro center whose pass blocking helped the Browns to championships in the AAFC and the NFL football leagues. He played three years with Marshall University under Cam Henderson. He served in the US Army from 1942-45. Frank earned All-NFL player honors from 1950-53 and in 1955. In 1974, he was elected to the WV Sports Writers' Hall of Fame. In 1985, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also to the Marshall University Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was elected to the Polish Hall of Fame of Hamtramic, Mich. and in 2000 he was elected to the greater-Cleveland All Sports Hall of Fame. On Oct. 15, 2005, his Marshall University football jersey, #72, was retired. After retirement, he was coach and athletic director at the West Virginia Industrial School for Boys in Pruntytown, W.Va. He attended the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Grafton. The family will receive friends at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home in Grafton from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, Nov. 28, 2005, at 10 a.m. at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Grafton, with the Rev. Father Ronald G. Prechtl as Celebrant. Interment will follow in the West Virginia National Cemetery in Pruntytown. Military graveside services will be conducted by the VFW Memorial City Post #3081 of Grafton, Taylor County Post #12 American Legion, DAV Chapter 24 and their Auxiliaries. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes contributions be made to the charity of your choice.FRANK "Gunner" GATSKI, 84, of Rt. 1, Grafton, W.Va., passed away Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005. He was born in No. 9 Coal Camp in Farmington, W.Va., March 18, 1921, son of the late Louie and Etta (Pietrowski) Gatski. Surviving are seven children; Frank Gatski and wife Carol of Portland, Mich., Karen Guliani and husband James, and Anne Harman, both of Morgantown, Louis Gatski and wife Sandra of Springfield, Va., John Gatski and wife Milagras of Kensington, Md., Steven Gatski of Thornton and Joseph P. Gatski; six grandchildren: Rachel Harman, Laura Guliani, Jason Gatski, Katie Gatski, Alex Guliani and Elias Gatski; also survived by several nieces and nephews. Mr. Gatski is the last surviving member of his immediate family. He was preceded in death by three brothers: Benny, Paul and John Gatski; one sister; Mary Louise Gatski, a son-in-law, Kyle Harman; and one grandson, Christopher Harman. Mr. Gatski was a member of the Cleveland Browns in the 1940s and 1950s; was an all-pro center whose pass blocking helped the Browns to championships in the AAFC and the NFL football leagues. He played three years with Marshall University under Cam Henderson. He served in the US Army from 1942-45. Frank earned All-NFL player honors from 1950-53 and in 1955. In 1974, he was elected to the WV Sports Writers' Hall of Fame. In 1985, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also to the Marshall University Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was elected to the Polish Hall of Fame of Hamtramic, Mich. and in 2000 he was elected to the greater-Cleveland All Sports Hall of Fame. On Oct. 15, 2005, his Marshall University football jersey, #72, was retired. After retirement, he was coach and athletic director at the West Virginia Industrial School for Boys in Pruntytown, W.Va. He attended the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Grafton. The family will receive friends at the Donald G. Ford Funeral Home in Grafton from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, Nov. 28, 2005, at 10 a.m. at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Grafton, with the Rev. Father Ronald G. Prechtl as Celebrant. Interment will follow in the West Virginia National Cemetery in Pruntytown. Military graveside services will be conducted by the VFW Memorial City Post #3081 of Grafton, Taylor County Post #12 American Legion, DAV Chapter 24 and their Auxiliaries. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes contributions be made to the charity of your choice.

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