Blair Kiel, 50, Columbus, Ind., passed away Sunday, April 8, 2012, of natural causes in his hometown. He was born on Nov. 29, 1961, in Columbus, the son of Fritz and Sylvia Kiel.
Blair went on to become a three-sport star at Columbus East High School in football, basketball and baseball where he was voted captain and MVP in all three sports. He led the Olympians to their first football state championship as a senior in 1979, and he won the Phil Eskew Mental Attitude Award and South MVP in the North-South football game that same year. After high school Blair was a four-year starter as quarterback and punter for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame from 1980 to 1983. He was voted Team Captain in 1983, and he set the record for the longest pass in Notre Dame history with a 96-yard completion to Joe Howard against Georgia Tech in 1981. He was inducted as a member of the Indiana Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1998.
Drafted by the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1984, Blair enjoyed a seven-year career in the league including two years with the Indianapolis Colts (1986 to 1987). He also played four years with the Green Bay Packers and one year with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) before retiring from professional football after the 1992 season. He then began a second career in commercial real estate, most recently working in corporate real estate with Summit Realty Group of Indiana as well as Resource Commercial Real Estate, both of Indianapolis.
For more than 15 years Blair thoroughly relished the opportunity to serve as mentor and coach to hundreds of kids in youth sports programs, impacting young athletes in the Indiana communities of Carmel and Fishers for many years. He was a member of the Indiana Chapter of Crohn's and Colitis Foundation and chaired its Celebrity Golf Outing for more than 12 years, raising $225,000 for research. He received the Mary Ann Mobley National Humanitarian Award in 1994.
Blair is survived by his parents, Fritz and Sylvia; his children, Brittany and Brandon Kiel; sister, Jenny Hollinger (husband, Scott); brothers, Kevin (Kip) Kiel (wife, Aleta) and Pat Kiel (wife, Bev); aunt and uncle, Jacque and Bill Chambers; aunt, Shari Kohne; nieces and nephews, Madison and Morgan Hollinger, Drew, Dusty and Gunner Kiel, Craig and Taylor Kiel.
Funeral services will be private for the family, but friends can call from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2012, at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home at 1029 Washington St. in Columbus. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Indiana.
Online condolences may be sent to the Kiel family at www.barkesweaverglick.com.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Apr. 11, 2012