VAIL, Colo. Ernie Stautner, age 80, of Vail, formerly of Dallas, passed away at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, February 16, 2006 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Ernie was born April 20, 1925 in Germany to Joseph and Hedwig Streck Stautner. He and his family migrated to Albany, N.Y. when he was three years old. After serving in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, he enrolled at Boston College where he was a four-year starter and captured All-New England and All Catholic honors as a powerful two-way tackle. In the 1950 NFL draft, he was picked by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round. Ernie played his entire 14-year career with the Steelers and was elected to the Pro Bowl nine times. A highly-regarded coach and defensive coordinator with the Dallas Cowboys (1966-1988), he played a major role in that team's two Super Bowl Championships. He also served on the coaching staffs of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos, head coach for the Dallas Texans Arena League and the World Champion Frankfurt Galaxy NFL Europe. In 1969, his first year of eligibility, Ernie was inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. In 1973, he was inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame. Ernie is survived by his wife, Jill. Also surviving are his children, Teresa Stautner, Carol Stautner-Hinds, Greg Hinds, J.J. Stautner-Gora, Anthony Gora, Jordan Stautner and Emily Stautner; his sister, Hedwig Hoffman; and by his grandchildren, Zachary, Danielle, Alex, Jodie, Joseph and Rachel. He was preceded in death by his son, Joseph Robert Stautner, in 2001 and his brother, Joseph Stautner. A visitation will be held Sunday 6-8 p.m. at Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home in Lewisville, Texas, (972-436-4581). Funeral Mass will be held Monday, February 20, 1 p.m. at St. Phillip the Apostle Catholic Church in Lewisville. Private graveside service will be held in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Rowlette. Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home of Lewisville is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Albany Times Union on Feb. 17, 2006.