Gale Sayers

  • Born: May 30, 1943
  • Died: September 23, 2020
  • Location:

Tribute


Gale Sayers

Hall of Fame running back with the Chicago Bears

Gale Sayers was a Pro Football Hall of Fame running back who was a Chicago Bears legend, playing for the team from 1965 to 1971. For full obituary and coverage from Legacy.com, click here.


Condolence & Memory Journal

My husband, a volunteer youth football coach, and I were fortunate to have met Gale at a football camp for kids in Vermont in 1972. We would eat in the dining hall with the coaches and players and as good fortunate has it, we became good friends with Gale throughout that week and the friendship continued for decades.

The four of us (Gale, Ardie, Dick and I) planned trips together, as well as visiting each other's cities (Boston and Chicago for holiday get togethers and fundraisers, (The Cradle Foundation, one of the many charities Gale and Ardie supported.

Gale was fun, philosophical, pragmatic, and had an inquisitive mind. We would talk about race, religion, politics, and charities in our circles together. One of the highlights was going to Houston for the rodeo (Gale loved this challenging and dangerous sport). Another was picking peppers in a field at the McInney tobasco farm in Lousiana. We each had separate quarters at a plantation. Gale and Ardie chose to stay in a cabin called, 'Slave Quarters'. Gale embraced all people of color. He was a proud black man who knew his history. He and Ardie collected African art and and Afro American art, embracing their heritage to share with others.

Gale loved golf and when golfing in Mexico, Ardie and I came across a family member of one of Gale's quarterbacks. Ardie and I conspired to have Rudy Bukich and Gale to have a "surprise" meeting at a local restaurant. Both had fallen out of touch over the years and perhaps it was quite a coincidence to meet his fellow team, living in Mexico with his wife and family.

Finally, Gale and Ardie visited Maine at our children's camp in 1978. Sadly, there are no photos of the week they spent with us that can be found. Gale played capture the flag with us and relays with the kids and staff. He won the July 4th egg toss. No surprise there, Dick Courtiss (now deceased) was his partner.

Rest in peace Gale. Thanks for the many memories the four of us shared.

Posted by linda courtiss - Friend   October 13, 2020

To the family, many, many friends, colleagues and legions of fans of this wonderful man, where he was named an All-American twice. Sayers’ was notable that he became the youngest player ever inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, earning the honor at age 34. That is the legacy Gale Sayers left behind memorable in his football career that will not be forgotten. May the God of comfort bless your grieving hearts with strength, loving kindness and peace as the world copes with loss the of Mr. Gale Sayers. May his legacy keep his memory alive forever.

Posted by Tony - DC   October 12, 2020

There is a term in common usage today that didn't exist when Gale played football. It does, however, define his talent and instinct as a football player. On and off the field, he was one of the greatest players and men to ever play the game. Prior to and following Gale's career, there have been other Running Backs that have achieved greatness. However, none of them could ever be considered the G*O*A*T (greatest of all time) when speaking of Running Backs. I don't believe that anyone could ever take the title from him.

Ted: A loyal Gale Sayers and Chicago Bears fan forever

Posted by A friend   October 09, 2020

It was pleasure to meet n take care of u at Northwoods god bless ur family and keep watching over them

Posted by dena johnson - Elkhart, IN - friend   October 08, 2020

Candle

Posted by Matthew McGuire - Cheshire, CT   October 08, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Cynthia Stout - MORGAN HILL, CA   October 07, 2020

I was an honor to meet you and to have your autograph. I followed your career as a young boy. Everyone told me to root for the LA RAMS, but Gayle Sayers didn't play for the rams...HE WAS A CHICAGO BEAR. You thrilled me and how much I enjoyed watching you dash away like a true COMET. RIP SIR. The heavens have a fleet footed angel to rush to our aid. REST now.

Posted by Brian Hamilton - Ft Worth, TX - acquaintance   October 06, 2020

I cried when I heard the news that Gale Sayers had died.

He was a very special person and I have long felt connected to him. That’s because I have a precious personal memory of an occasion when he extended to me a seemingly simple - yet great in my mind - kindness and courtesy more than 50 years ago.

It was 1967 and I was a senior in high school. My family lived in the Chicago suburbs during those years. I was active in 4-H in North Cook County back then, and, along with my local club involvements, I had leadership roles in our county activities. Our county awards night was coming up (likely in November, as best as I can recall), and I had volunteered to line up some special entertainment for the program.

Around the second or third week of October, I spotted a small announcement in a local advertising newspaper that came to our house, saying that, on Tuesday, October 31, Halloween night, Gale Sayers and another Chicago Bears player (I’m sorry, I do not recall which one) would be at a men’s clothing store (again, I am sorry, I cannot recall with certainty the name of the store), at what was then simply called Randhurst, a shopping center in Mount Prospect, to greet the public and sign autographs.

Randhurst was just a mile from my home, and when I read this news, I immediately decided to go to the store that night, try to meet Mr. Sayers and invite him to our county 4-H awards program. I fully realized his availability was a long shot, but at least I would ask.

It was pouring rain on Halloween night. Nonetheless, I expected there would be a huge crowd in the store and a long line to meet and greet the Bears. My dad let me use his car, and when I arrived, I was shocked and stunned to see Mr. Sayers and his teammate seated on chairs behind a wooden table and only a couple other people ahead of me, perhaps a father and young son, speaking with the players and getting autographs. (And no, no one was wearing Halloween costumes, nor were there even any Halloween decorations on display.)

Two gentlemen in suits, store employees most likely, were standing on either side of the front of the table and one asked me if I would like autographs. I recall saying “no.” I believe I replied something to the effect of I would just like to speak with Mr. Sayers. Inasmuch as no one was standing between Number 40 and me, I just said hello to him, I started telling him about our upcoming 4-H program and I asked if there was any chance he might be able to attend as our special guest. I paused and waited for him to answer with what I expected him to say without hesitation: “Sorry, kid, I won’t be able to make it.”
Instead, he said, “That sounds like a lot of fun. Let me go home and check my schedule and see if I am available that night. If you’ll write down your name and phone number, I’ll call you in a couple days and let you know either way.”

Rest assured, I could not believe what I had just heard. As I recall, one of those men standing at the table gave me a small piece of paper, and using the pen Mr. Sayers was signing autographs with, I wrote down my name and phone number and, in a total and complete daze, I handed it to him.

When I left the store, I figured that, even though he sounded very sincere, I had better not count on hearing from him. He was, after all, the famous and already iconic, not to mention extremely busy Gale Sayers and I was a nobody high school kid. I thought, at best, perhaps he would have a secretary in the Bears office call me to express his regrets.

A couple days went by, and it must have been Thursday afternoon, November 2. I had just gotten home from school and the phone rang. I answered it: “Hello.” The voice on the other end said “Hello, Linda, this is Gale Sayers.” He went on to say that he had checked his schedule as he had promised and, unfortunately, he had another commitment on the night of our 4-H program, so he was sorry, but he would not be able to attend. But he also said “I really appreciate the invitation. Please keep me in mind for another event some time.”

Mr. Sayers and I had no further correspondence after that phone conversation. But I never forgot how sweet and considerate he was to follow up personally like that in such a cordial manner. It has been amazing to be able to say: “Gale Sayers actually called me at home one time.” I think of him often and over the years I always hoped I would one day have an opportunity to communicate with him again so I could let him know how much it meant to an impressionable kid that he treated me with such respect and kind consideration back in 1967. The positive impressions that one leaves with others, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem at the time, really can and do last a lifetime.

(A bit of follow up: With Mr. Sayers unavailable to attend our 4-H awards night and share a few thoughts with the group, we were able to get a trio of talented girls from my high school that had formed a very enjoyable singing group.)

I extend my most sincere and heartfelt sympathy to Mrs. Sayers, the entire Sayers family and all those who knew and will always love Gale Sayers. I join you in celebrating his exemplary life. I take comfort in knowing Mr. Sayers has been reunited with his dear friend Brian Piccolo. It’s a happy thought to imagine the two of them running and tossing a football around together again.

The heartwarming original Brian’s Song movie provides what I consider another connection, even if small, with Mr. Sayers for me. In the scene where Gale comes home from the hospital following his knee surgery, you see Billy Dee Williams as him seated in the living room near a secretary situated against the outside wall. The secretary is a desk with a front that is lowered to provide a writing surface and this particular piece of movie set furniture also sports an upper display cabinet. In 1970 my dad bought a secretary identical to the one that appears in the 1971 movie for his small home library. That twin to the Brian’s Song secretary graces my home office today. It was only a year or two ago, while watching the movie (yet again) on cable, that I noticed the uncanny match regarding the secretary.

In all honesty I must admit that, as a Wisconsin native, I am a life long Packers fan, as my dear dad inspired me to be. But, enduring sports rivalries aside, I cherish my special memory of Gale Sayers. Of all the Bears, he will always be my favorite.

Linda Davis

Posted by Linda Davis - Acquaintance   October 04, 2020

Candle

To the Sayers Family, our prayers have been with you as you celebrate the person and the player of Mr. Sayers. SCOTT: We love you brother!

Posted by Natasha Stevens - Los Angeles, CA - friend   October 03, 2020

A great man in so many ways. To me he was the greatest running back ever because he did so much on a team that had only one offensive threat, Gale Sayers, so I would guess that the defense probably keyed on him every time. He also came back from a devastating injury and still led the league again with a poor team who only had Gale as a weapon. I wish I had known him personally. Glad he was a Chicago Bear.

Posted by Dave Klyzek - Coeur D'Alene, ID   October 03, 2020

What a gentleman and so quiet and sensitive, I am so very sorry for your loss. He impacted so many on and off the field. His legacy lives on, and he will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to his family and am praying that God will provide them with strength during this difficult time.

Posted by Eric Roberts    October 02, 2020

Candle

Posted by Alishia - SC   October 01, 2020

He was the best!!!!! ....The most graceful, fluid and exciting running back I have ever seen come out of the N.F.L. backfield ....bar none... my football idol... "The Man With
A Thousand Moves!!!"... "The Galloping Ghost....sweet memories....thank you Gayle Sayer's....

Posted by Rick - Friend   September 30, 2020

I was a freshman at central high in Omaha. He sat across from me in library. He was so handsome in his O sweater that had medals on it. I have never been a group but I was a sayers groupie. I followed his career and I have a scrap book in my basement about Gale. Thanks for the memories I proud to brag that he was a central grad.

Posted by Barbara Herzog - Omaha, NE - acquaintance   September 29, 2020

Candle

I wish, but I never met Gale, but I was very touched just by knowing the type of person he was and the legacy he has left the World. Gale was amazing, kind and generous person, with many successful accomplishments.
The story of Gale and Brian Piccolo was such a true touching story to my Heart, that's true love that two friends had and shared. He inspired me to go the extra mile. Gale was very talented on the field; he will always be remembered by many and by the way he touched so many hearts in so many ways. God Bless you Gale and my Prayers are with your family; the sadness one day will be replaced with all the Great Memories of this wonderful person.

Posted by Dave Brunette - Chula Vista, CA - Acquaintance   September 29, 2020

He was the BEST of the BEST of the BEST coming from a family that loved Football and marrying a MAN that lives for the game who also played High School Football As a mere tot I heard of Gayle Sayers on Sunday how he would or could do everything. I know he's running circles in HEAVEN around everyone in Football. May He Forever RIP...

Posted by Bright Bluford - Acquaintance   September 28, 2020

Ardythe,
We are saddened to learn that your dear husband, Gale Eugene, has passed away and we send our condolences to you. He will without doubt be missed by all who loved him and never forgotten. He was an amazing person, and his legendary legacy will live on.

God is close to the brokenhearted and He will comfort you and give you the strength to cope. May prayers strengthen you and God’s loyal love always comfort and sustain you. Psalm 23rd

Posted by A friend   September 28, 2020

You would never know meeting Gale all the amazing, inspiring, kind, generous & successful accomplishments on & off the football field he was made of. A quiet, selfless poise always was his demeanor. He & Ardie were a team of caring, change and always making a way to help others. My deepest condolences go out to Ardie, the kids & family. You will always be the fuel that made Gale's life a special legacy. Your TLC the last several years, when the thief Dementia took over Gale, had to be such a difficult time for you. Your constant love & care made it possible for him to transition from this life with the same dignity he lived on earth. He's angel wings are well earned & he will RIP as he watches over you. Comfort, hugs & peace to you Ardie & family.

Posted by Marilyn Mathews - Long Beach, CA - friend   September 28, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Joseph Moody    September 28, 2020

A true gentleman, a great fan and easy to talk with at the games. We were fortunate to have seats at the 45 yard line about 10 rows down from Gale. He felt sorry for us as we could not see the plays develop down there as well as he could!

Posted by Fred & Claire Rieckelman - Glenview, IL - acquaintance   September 28, 2020

Ardythe,

My condolences to you and the boys, please let yourself have peace during this time and let the Lord know he is in charge. Amen!

Posted by Cedric Douglas - Friend   September 28, 2020

My deepest sympathy goes out to the family . May the true God comfort your broken hearts. For Psalms 50:15 says call and He will deliver in the day of distress.

Posted by A friend   September 28, 2020

You were my favorite running back! Run in peace, my man!

Posted by Tom Topoozian - Friend   September 28, 2020

On behalf of the Lindenfest Committee, we express our deepest sympathy. Gale never failed to support our annual community festival and we will forever be grateful. Rest in Peace our friend, you will be missed so very much!

Posted by Lindsay Tatgenhorst - Acquaintance   September 28, 2020

RIP Sir.
I can you hear you now. Your in heaven saying "Hey Picc, Glad to see you again!" Best friends together again at last.

Posted by LISA DONOVAN    September 27, 2020

Gale Sayers family have my deepest sympathy.I hope the fond memories of your dear loved one gives you peace and strength to cope with the passings of your dear loved one.

Posted by E R - Acquaintance   September 27, 2020

Gale, your friendship with Brian piccolo was my go to story when I needed strength. You were the best friend everyone wishes they had. You inspired me to be a friend to my friends, even going the extra mile. You were my hero growing up.

Posted by Jacqulin Drinkwater - Friend   September 27, 2020

As graceful as it gets on the field. As gracious as it gets off the field. I do appreciate the wisdom you shared with me that helped form my path. Rest in Power Sir.

Posted by Johnny Fayne - Memphis, TN - friend   September 27, 2020

As a fan, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Gale Sayers. At this time of political unrest his story of his relationship with his white teammate, Brian Piccolo, and the tribute he paid him when accepting the the George S. Halas Award should serve as a teaching moment for all of us. RIP, Gale Sayers.

Posted by C. A. Murray - Hull, MA   September 27, 2020

I read his book when I was very young. He told of his childhood and growing up very poor. He also told of his love for his white friend Brian P. His book inspired me to work hard in my life. He also taught me that we can care about each other no matter what color our skin is. He was my idle. He is running the ball in heaven. Richard Plant

Posted by Richard Plant - Friend   September 27, 2020

Thanks for the Memories and inspiration for all. I attended almost all the games in Wrigley field in the 60s. My father would lift me up every time you touched the ball and said you ran like a deer cutting through the woods. God Bless and rest in Peace. Below picture rookie year Game 7 ,10.31.1965 May Peace be with all.

Posted by Jeff Schwede    September 27, 2020

Rest in peace my friend it was an honor and pleasure to be able to care for you for the short time that I did you might not have said a whole lot but I always saw that twinkled in your eye you always enjoyed eating some of my grapes fly high my friend You're one of God's angels now
Sending love hug and prayers to the family your dad and husband was one amazing man
Taking all of you during this time Melissa Roberts CNA

Posted by Melissa Roberts - Friend   September 27, 2020

It was a pleasure to meet n take care of Gayle his wife was so sweet praying for her n family he will surely be missed

Posted by dena johnson - Elkhart, IN - friend   September 27, 2020

Posted by dena johnson - Elkhart, IN - friend   September 27, 2020

Artie, you took such great care of him. I am so sorry.

Posted by Sabine Richey - South Bend, IN - acquaintance   September 26, 2020

I followed Mr Sayers career for years. Always exciting and at the top of his game. Paving the way for those that would seek that high quality of professionalism on and off the field. RIP Gale Sanders, Fly with the Angels.

Posted by Kenneth Williams - Friend   September 26, 2020

A legend i grew up watching back when football was played for the love of the game. Rest in peace Gale.

Posted by Phil Chludzinski - Erie, PA   September 26, 2020

Ardy and family,

I am so sorry to hear of Gale’s passing. He had such a good soul. My prayers are with you in these difficult times. May you find comport I’m loving memories.

Posted by Kelly Langseth - Acquaintance   September 26, 2020

Ardy and family,

I am so sorry to hear of Gale’s passing. He had such a good soul. My prayers are with you in these difficult times. May you find comport I’m loving memories.

Posted by Kelly Langseth - Acquaintance   September 26, 2020

I grew up watching you play here in Chicago. May peace and comfort be with your family and fans.

Posted by Walker    September 26, 2020

Most assuredly a true legend, his mark in the NFL will always be remembered. Heartfelt condolences to the Sayers family, truly sorry for your loss, may you find your comfort and strength from God as you go through your time of tears.

Posted by A friend   September 26, 2020

May god bless Gale Sayers and his family too.He’s up there somewhere with his friend Brian Piccolo.

Posted by Sylvia Sliwa - Friend   September 26, 2020

Simply the Best ! RIP my friend .

Posted by Bill Minard - Cleveland, IL - friend   September 25, 2020

To the family and friends of Gale Sayers: As a teen. I watched basketball . I wasn’t into football. I didn’t know who Gale Sayers was until I watched Brian’s Song. My heart was completely touched and my view of football was forever changed. Moreover, the friendship between these youths was uplifting and a powerful thing to behold . May God comfort you and give you peace during this time of grief and sorrow.

Posted by W D - neighbor   September 25, 2020

Condolences to Ardyth and family for the passing of Gale. I cherish our time together during Gale's frequent visits to SC. May he RIP and I pray that God provides the comfort needed by family to get through this time of loss.

Jocelyn Jennings

Posted by Jocelyn Jennings - Friend   September 25, 2020

Gale you will be missed! Thanks for being an awesome grandpa to Brandon. A man of few words but over the years we had a handful of lengthy conversations that I truly enjoyed!

Posted by Monica Donovan - Largo, FL - family   September 25, 2020

Mr. Sayers was like a brother to me. He represented me with his great compassion for people, and he was my mentor even though I played the Line Backer position. GOD will never leave you.

Posted by Rufus Payne - Friend   September 25, 2020

Gale was one of America's great gentlemen. Gale and his wife Ardythe were dedicated to the education of young children. Keeping children away from drugs, guns, gangs and alcohol has been a focus for life. God bless you Gale. Peace be with you! It has been an honor to know you and Ardy. It has been one of the many blessings in my life.

Posted by Eddie Gartz - Rochester, NY - friend   September 25, 2020

I grew up in Omaha Nebraska and my favorite athlete was Gayle Sayers. I remember my mom sending me to pick up a cake at Mrs. Agee house in South Omaha, Gayle picture was on the TV mantle. I told Mrs. Agee that I wanted to have that picture. His career was positive on and off the football field.
May he rest in peace and God be with him.
Ronald C. Dorsey, son of Lillian and Holsey Dorsey.

Posted by Ronald C. Dorsey - Friend   September 25, 2020

It was a pleasure for me to live down the hall from Gale & Ardy here in Chicago. They were a fun couple and my grandchildren thought I was “ really cool” because I knew them. God bless to the family. They are in my prayers. Marianne Scanlon

Posted by A friend   September 25, 2020

Hard to put into words what he meant to me growing up. More than a hero, on and off the field. The consummate player, an even better human being. His name was magic to me. Every time I heard his name, my pulse would quicken, my ears would perk up. Did more for race relations than most who are devoted full time to the cause. I was a white kid with best friends who were black, I think in retrospect largely because of my admiration for Gale Sayers and his relationship with Brian Piccolo. I will pray for the repose of his soul in the peace of God, and will pray for his family that survives him.

Posted by Dean Clerico - Shavertown, PA   September 25, 2020

My condolences to the family of Gale Sayers for your loss.

Posted by A friend   September 25, 2020

Deep heartfelt condolences to the family of Gale Sayers on his passing. He was truly a tremendous and magnificent talent. He was the best of the best and his legacy will long be remembered. May the God of all comfort strengthen and sustain you both now and in the days to come.

Posted by Mike C    September 25, 2020

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of Gayle Sayers. What a football legend. He was admired and respected by family and friends. He will be missed. Again so sorry for your loss.

Posted by LeeRoy    September 25, 2020

My condolences to his family. He was a great high school classmate and a very kind and loving person. I remember when he was in town and we met for ice cream. He was proud to show me his Hall oF Fame ring. He truly touched the hearts of many. We can rejoice that he is in the presence of the Lord.

Posted by Marilyn Neubauer - Oceanside, CA   September 25, 2020

On behalf of the Bernal’s and the memory of Gloria, Vye and Doc can’t tell you how saddened we are to hear of Gale’s passing. Ardie, you and Gale have been a great pleasure to have in our lives over the years and our love and hearts go out to you Ardie, all the kids and the memory of Gale. I hope he and Doc, Vye and Mom are just spending a bit of time together now. We love you and we share your loss. Ray

Posted by Ray Bernal - Atlanta, GA - family   September 25, 2020

I met Mr. Sayers when he was interviewing for a college coaching position and I was a student working in food service. He modeled grace and dignity and offered others the respect that he deserved. My kids know of Gale Sayers as a man of quality even more than a great football player because of that brief encounter. Peace to all he influenced.

Posted by Tyrecia Caton - Jacksonville, AR - acquaintance   September 25, 2020

Such a great football player. Now he is reunited with his best friend Brian piccolo..sincere condolences to his family

Posted by Donna    September 24, 2020

Mr. Sayers was one of the greatest influences on my life. I first met Gale in 1998 when his technology company, Sayers Computer Source, acquired Dataware Prdoducts. I was a rookie sales rep and suddenly could bring an NFL legend on sales calls. Since that time, he taught me the importance of being prompt, reliable and to always follow up. Over the years, we became friends and I will miss him very much.

Posted by Jeff Masse - Coworker   September 24, 2020

Just saw Brian's Song, again, about a week ago. Whenever I've discussed the subject of the greatest running backs in the history of the game, Gale's name has always been prominently mentioned. His vision, instincts, and evasiveness were nonpareil. For those who never had the good fortune to see him play, I would suggest watching old highlight films of the great Gale Sayers in action. And be prepared to be amazed!

Thank you, Gale. Reunited with Coach Halas and Pic.

Posted by - CA   September 24, 2020

What a nice man! So sorry to the family.

Posted by Janalee Jones - Acquaintance   September 24, 2020

My deepest condolences to the Gale Sayers Family. We were friends, Woit's Warriors workout partners at the Lawson Y and teammates. Gale will be greatly missed by his many NFL brothers. Jim Garcia

Posted by Jim Garcia - New Orleans, LA - friend   September 24, 2020

I am sorry to read about the passing of Gale. He had a great football career. He is now with with his side kick Brian. Prayers going out to Gale's Family.

Posted by Jessie Taylor    September 24, 2020

God blessed Wakarusa with Gale and Ardie and gave us the chance to become friends and spend some time with them. Gale was the kindest and most generous man and helped so many in our community. RIP Gale Sayers.

Posted by Eli and Sue Detweiler - Wakarusa, IN - friend   September 24, 2020

Gayle Sayers, the classiest NFL player of all time.

Posted by Martin Matthiessen - OH   September 24, 2020

Truly one of the NFL greats, he place in history will always be remembered. My deepest sympathies to the Sayers family, may God comfort and strengthen all of you.

Posted by A friend   September 24, 2020

My condolences to the family. I can remember the days, we watched him play. It was amazing. May the God of Comfort, continue to comfort the family, during these difficult, times.

Posted by A friend   September 24, 2020

In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.

Posted by Susie Cohen - Friend   September 24, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family may Gales memory be a blessing. I felt to lucky to have wonderful memories going to lunch and laughing while he was in the salon. I remember when he told me come to the house to have your hair braided . I think that’s the last time he offered up Artie talents. I feel very lucky to have known Gale the man not just the legend. Susie Cohen

Posted by Susie Cohen - Friend   September 24, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family may Gales memory be a blessing. I felt to lucky to have wonderful memories going to lunch and laughing while he was in the salon. I feel very lucky to have known Gale the man not just the legend. Susie Cohen

Posted by Susie Cohen - Friend   September 24, 2020

Thoughts and prayers to a truly remarkable person that enriched us in his time on earth. Now he has been welcomed home in God's kingdom watching over family, friends and admirers as a heavenly angel.
God bless.
Joanne Shaw and family
Springfield Massachusetts

Posted by Joanne Shaw - Springfield, MA   September 24, 2020

Never knew Gale Sayers personally my heart goes out to the family and may the God of comfort be with you at this sad time.

Posted by Leonard & Connie Richardson    September 24, 2020

To Ardythe: my thoughts and prayers are with you. I truly feel for you and your loss as my partner of over 36 years passed in March this year. My lovely memory of you and Gayle was here in Palm Springs during the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament and you and I went shopping on El Paseo; then I dropped you at Mission Hills. I have and will always treasure those memories. God Bless and care for you.
Lynn Stevens

Posted by Lynn Stevens - Palm Springs, CA - acquaintance   September 24, 2020

Gale was easily the best in football history .

Posted by Eugene Campbell    September 24, 2020

Heartfelt condolences to the family in your loss of Gale. At this time "May the God who gives hope fill you with all joy and peace" at this time of sorrow.

Posted by RH - MS   September 24, 2020

I was honored to meet Mr. Sayers when he attended the Kansas vs Texas football game in Austin in the late 90's. He was definitely the gentleman I had and have always believed him to be. My prayers to his family, his many friends, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Bears. The Peace of The Lord gentle soul. Mic

Posted by Mickey Dorsey - Austin, TX - acquaintance   September 24, 2020

My deepest condolences to the family of Gale Sayers, may the Lord give you strength and comfort. ❤❤❤❤

Posted by Genevieve Doer-Brown    September 24, 2020

He was sooo graceful like an antelope, the only player I seen that could make a cut in midair. A true professional on & off the field. May he Rest In Peace, thoughts and prayers to the family.

Posted by Andy Travis - Student   September 24, 2020

Sincerest condolences to the Sayers family, so very sorry for the loss. A remarkable person, that will be missed by so many. May God be with you all.

Posted by Elise - Charlotte, NC   September 24, 2020

He was the greatest of all time and thanks to my dad I was able to be friends with Gale and Audi, he was a very humble man! I will cherish all my memories of Gale.

Posted by John Curley - Osage City, KS - friend   September 24, 2020

Prayers for the family of this great athlete and man. He will be for loved and missed.d=O

Posted by Judy Moore    September 24, 2020

I hope you & Brian have met my good friends Zeke & Ed and have found Heaven’s coffee shop. Zeke’s gonna have lots of Bears stories to talk about.

Posted by Juiie B    September 24, 2020

IT WAS THE FALL OF 1962 & I WAS BEGINNING MY FRESHMAN YEAR AT KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY. I WENT TO THE FOOTBALL STADIUM WITH SOME FRIENDS TO SEE MY 1ST COLLEGE GAME. K-STATE WAS PLAYING KANSAS UNIVERSITY. THEY HAD QUITE A RIVALRY GOING ON FOR YEARS. THE OPENING KICK-OFF WAS DONE BY K-STATE. THIS KU GUY CATCHESIT & STARTS RUNNINGDOWN THE FIELD & PASSES EVERY PLAYER & INTO THE END ZONE HE WENT. I WAS BLOWN AWAY. IT WAS GALE SAYERS & THE REST IS HISTORY. HE RAN THAT BALL BACK 98 OR 99 YARDS. THAT IS WHY HE EARNED THE NICKNAME THE KANSAS COMET. I FOLLOWED HIM FOR THE REST OF HIS FOOTBALL CAREER. I REMAIN VERY SAD TO HEAR OF HIS PASSING. MY BLESSINGS TO HIS WIFE.

Posted by Barbara Wisbey - Friend   September 24, 2020

He lived his life doing what he loved and those accomplishments can be a souce of comfort to his love ones. May your grand creator be your refuge in this time of grief.

Posted by Odette Wells    September 24, 2020

Candle

Rest in peace Magic and enjoy your time in heaven with Pic like in the good old days during your Football Career with him. You will be greatly missed.

Posted by Gina Alexander - Menlo Park, CA - friend   September 24, 2020

I messed up the tribute I wrote about Gale Sayers the first time and I would like to resubmit my tribute. Below I wrote the following.

I am a life long Bears Fan Especially the players of old that are no longer with us today. I was saddened to hear about the death of Gale Sayers now reunited once again with Brian Piccolo in Death. Had it not been for the movie Brian's song I would never have heard gale Sayers aka Magic and Brian's Piccolo aka Pic's name and friendship and the bond they forged together since they both met at a Chicago Bears training camp for the first time. Because of that movie I learned about their bond and friendship as they helped each other out during Brian's short life of 27 years. Brian would not have fulfilled his short life and dreams the way he did without his team mates help Gale Sayers had they never met by chance. Rest in Peace Magic you are now once again with your old pal Pic and will be greatly missed. Its because of you Pic and wife Joy and their Children through your courage and compassion you showed him with you and your wife Gail made Brian's suffering with lung cancer and dying at a young age of 27 a little easier to deal with when Brian was going you a very hard time in his young life. Thank you magic for every thing you have done on and off the Football Field. I am crying right now as I right this tribute to you not with tears of sadness but with Joy for you because you are now reunited with your pal and team mate Pic. Now get back on the grid iron with pic magic and do what you did best in life which was playing your heart with the one thing you enjoyed which was football. Like thousands of other bears fans who came to know you as the greatist fullback ever you as well as myself will miss you very much. I also send my condolences and sympathy to the Sayers family for their loss. May they have comfort in knowing you were a great football player on and off the field and what a compassionate human being you were in helping out a fellow teammate in his hour of need right up to the end of his short career.

Posted by gina alexander - Menlo Park, CA   September 24, 2020

Was a great man RIP God bless.

Posted by John Janssen - Friend   September 24, 2020

Posted by gina alexander - menlo park, CA   September 24, 2020

Hi how are you I was writing to you to give my condolences to you and your family etc.. RIP. I loved his football playing..he seemed like a nice guy.. I will.miss him so
Take care bye.

Posted by Jody Brachman - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

In this difficult time, the comfort of God be with the family. Mr. Sayers will be missed. Peace and many happy memories.

Posted by M E    September 23, 2020

Sad Hearts and prayers go out to the Sayers family and greater Bears Family. A wonderful example of incredible skill, instincts and human/civic achievement. An All Pro in NFL and All Pro in American Spirit.

Thank you Kansas Comet, Black Magic.

Eternal Life and Perpetual Light.
Richard Ropp KC Mo

Posted by Richard Ropp - Kansas City, MO   September 23, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. Gale was an unbelievable athlete, watching his highlights is a thing of beauty. He grew up in my hometown of Omaha and was quite an athlete at Central High school.

Posted by Kent Sivadge - Arlington, TX   September 23, 2020

In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.

Posted by Jim Rainbolt - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Prayers up for the family

Posted by Bettie danberry - Little rock, AR - friend   September 23, 2020

Tremendous person and a man of character. Had the chance to meet him in 2006. Very humble man. Condolences to the family.

Posted by Fred Greiner - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

EXTRAORDINARY!We"re so glad our paths crossed!!(Superbowl Miami XX1X Tailgate Party) Our deepest condolences & prayers to your family.May you rest in peace David & Elizabeth Adams (Former Owners of The Riverwalk Eatery)

Posted by Elizabeth Adams - Fort Lauderdale, FL - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Dear Ardythe. One of my treasured memories is meeting you and Gale. Thanks for sharing him, love to you, keep safe.

Posted by shade little - Chapel Hill, NC - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Our sincerest condolences to the Gale Sayers family. Mr. Sayers life story touched me in a lasting and positive way. How Mr. Sayers lived his life with dignity, respect and compassion left an indelible mark. Our world would certainly benefit if more people followed his loving example.

Posted by Elaine Esqueda    September 23, 2020

We loved watching the real life friendship of Gales Sayers and
Brian Piccolo portrayed in the movie, Brian’s song. Gale was a Hall of Fame running back for the Chicago Bears and will be missed. May the God of tender mercies comfort you at this difficult timeand may the memories over Gale stay close to your heart.

Posted by Mary - Neighbor   September 23, 2020

A great running back of all times
Our condolences goes out to the family

Posted by Clarence Scutter    September 23, 2020

Gayle, you are now reunited with your good friend & room mate Brian Piccolo. Along with so many other great players who seem to have left us way too early. You maybe physically gone from us, but your legend shall always live on in immortality. GO BEARS!

Posted by William Riordan - Holyoke, MA   September 23, 2020

Sincerest condolences to the Sayers family, so very sorry for the loss. A remarkable person, that will be missed by so many. May God be with you all.

Posted by A friend   September 23, 2020

He was great. I saw his 99 yard run against Nebraska in 1963. He was
the Kansas Comet....I will pray for him and his family.

Posted by Allen Dayton - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

I remember him a brilliant individual as a person and running back behind jack con cannon as quarterback he and Brian picalo were tremendous people they will be missed together they are reminiscing about old times god be with his family at this time and rest his sole

Posted by Richard Hedstrom - Hyrum utah but lived in home, UT - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Dear Sayers's Family Rory and I sincerely express our condolences's on the loss pf Gale Sayers.he'll surely be missed very very much.and may he rest in peace.best faith/rory

Posted by faith c tobin/Rory S.Dockett    September 23, 2020

I , like so many youth, in the 1970's came to know , admire, and be inspired by Gale's inspirational story of friendship, goodness and humanity that rose above racial division. He is a true hero for the ages. I will never forget the story, Brian's Song. They are together at last. I am so sorry for the family's loss.

Posted by - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

The movie Brian’s Song I cried like a baby. Rip and prayers to his family.❤

Posted by Kathleen    September 23, 2020

Dear Sayers Family Rory and I sincerely would luv to express our condolences's on the loss of Gale Sayers.and may he arest in peace.best faith/rory

Posted by faith c tobin    September 23, 2020

To the Sayers Family,
My heart goes out to you on the passing of your precious Gale. He was an inspiration to so many people just being who he is. What a wonderful gift from God to spend your life with him.
Prayers for the family in your hour of need. May God bless you all.
Mary Sickles

Posted by Mary Sickles - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

I am saddened to learn of Gale Sayers passing. I was fortunate to meet him at a small business convention in Albuquerque in the 90s. We only talked for 15 or 20 minutes. He was such a genuinely nice person. My sincere condolences to his family.

Posted by James Hodges - Albuquerque, NM - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

A true legend, unforgettable. My heart goes out to the Sayers family, so very sorry for your loss. May God comfort and strengthen you at this most difficult time of your loss.

Posted by A friend   September 23, 2020

Dear Mrs. Sayers and Family,

I fondly recall the chance meeting I had with you and Gale as we were riding together on the South Shore to Chicago perhaps two or three years ago around this time of the year. Gale was wearing his NFL jacket, so it was pretty easy to figure out who he was. When we arrived at the Millennium Station, I helped get your suitcase down from the overhead rack and shared with Gale that I remember as a 9-year-old watching this player score six touchdowns in a game on TV late in the year. It was probably my first real exposure to pro football. I recalled that we were at my aunt and uncle's home and the grown-ups there were all Bears fans, and they were all going wild over this guy's performance. I asked, jokingly, if he happened to know that player. He chuckled and replied that he heard about the guy but didn't know what ever happened to him.

Thank you, Gale, for the many on-field memories, for the indelible mark you made on me through your friendship and support for Brian Piccolo (who passed on the day my mom and I rode the South Shore to have my eyes examined by a specialist in Chicago), and for our chance meeting on the train. Rest in peace, Gale, and know, Mrs. Sayers, that your husband made a positive impact on many people for many years.

Brian Balint

Posted by Brian Balint - Mishawaka, IN - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Gale grew up on Larimore St. In Omaha, Ne. , my Grandma Rose Mollica, lived across the street from Gale and his family I am Rose's grand daughter, Bernadette, we send our prayers to your family, sorry for your loss.

Posted by Bernadette M. Mollica - Omaha, NE - neighbor   September 23, 2020

One of the best to ever lace on Cleats ..The Youngest to ever be inducted in the HOF..He will be Missed

Posted by Linwood Carr - Salisbury, MD   September 23, 2020

In loving memory of the renowned "Kansas Comet. ” Mr. Gale Sayers, we will remember you and miss you always. And thank you for all of the football touchdowns.

Family Journal Readers, USA & Overseas

Posted by Family Journal Editors - Summerville, SC - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Gale Sayers. He is resting in Gods memory.

Posted by JE Sowell    September 23, 2020

Candle

I am so sorry for your loss. My ex huband Steve Taylor played football at the University of Kansas while Mr. Sayers was the Athletic Director. Mr. Sayers and his wife Ardie were so gracious to us and helped us in numerous ways while we were there. May God rest his soul and grant his family peace.

Cheryl Taylor Porter

Posted by Cheryl Taylor Porter - Euless, TX - friend   September 23, 2020

R.I.P. Gale you were one of the best you will be missed

Posted by Stephen Washburn - Iowa City, IA   September 23, 2020

I went to Lake Park High School, in Roselle IL. Gayle Sayers spoke at our high school sports banquet & met our school's star football player. That fall the football player, Steve Stager, broke his neck. Becoming a quadriplegic
Somehow Gayle found out visited Steve in the hospital. He also auction off a cast to he!p the Stager family medical costs.
I'll never to get his kindness. He was a hero at my high school & will forever be be a truly giving man to me
He probably did many other acts of kindness throughout his life humbly. He was a great football player with a heart of gold!
Sandy Corona

Posted by Sandy Corona - Chicago, IL - student   September 23, 2020

Just heard of Gale's passing and tears continue to flow. Gale was my all time favorite running back. I still tell my son about how incredible he was. Anytime I see the number 40, I think of Gale. I grew up playing football with Fulton Walker. Fulton ran like Gale and wore the number 40 while at Martinsburg (WV) High School, then at WVU. Fulton went on to play for the Miami Dolphins and scored a touchdown in the Super Bowl against Washington, but unfortunately had to wear the number 41 with the Dolphins because 40 was already taken. Fulton wore the number 40 because of Gale. He was our childhood hero. I'm so very sorry for your loss. My Sincerest condolences. My God Rest his Soul.

Posted by Joseph M. Cyhanick - Friend   September 23, 2020

I taught his story to seventh graders for many years and was privileged to meeting him. I told him what an inspiration he was to my students and me. He graciously signed his book for me and posed for a picture with me which is placed above my fireplace. He loved God and man. He was a truly remarkable human being.

Posted by Terry Sailor    September 23, 2020

Rest in Peace, Kansas Comet!

Posted by Josiah Thomas - Ridgeway, CT   September 23, 2020

Posted by Thomas Bone - Brooklyn, NY - friend   September 23, 2020

Dear Mrs. Sayers, First let me say I am sorry for your loss of your husband. I never had the chance of meeting him but as a 60 year old lacrosse coach and former college Football player I can't thank you enough for sharing your husband with us. HE was one of the players that I admired the most and I know he is know for the Movie and thats most of my memory but he was a wonderful human being and I hurt for you and your family. May GOD bless is soul and may he rest in peace. Love to you and your family. Lou and Mary Jo Corsetti - Atlanta GA.

Posted by Louis Corsetti    September 23, 2020

I always love watching you running with our Chicago Bears. I always wear your number 40 jersey ---All games with Chicago Bears. RIP and we will remember you forever and ever. We will reunite again.

Posted by LAWAN AHMED - SAN JOSE, CA   September 23, 2020

Candle

Gale was a great man. I did enjoy working for him. He was a great leader and a man with integrity. It was an honor work for him.

Posted by John Kmiec - Chicago, IL - coworker   September 23, 2020

Candle

To the Sayers family. You have our heart felt condolences for the passing of our brother Gayle. He was a great brother and family man.

Posted by Delmar Algee - Carbondale, IL.   September 23, 2020

I met Gale one time in 1979 when I was a senior on the sailing team at Northwestern. We competed in a regatta at Southern Illinois University that spring and Gale showed up on Sunday to watch and support the competitors. I competed in collegiate sailing for three years in the Midwest and this was the only regatta in which a university athletic director paid a visit. I remember a keg was present from the party the night before and Gale helped himself to a beer. He was friendly to the sailors from all the schools and meeting him was so memorable to me, that I have shared this story with many friends over the years. I offer my condolences to his family and want them to know that he touched my life and will be missed.

Posted by Bert Krages    September 23, 2020

My wife and I met Mr. Sayers and his wife on an Amtrak train a few years ago, by chance -- they had the sleeping compartment across the corridor on our pullman car. We didn't know who our neighbors were until we started wondering about the line of autograph-seekers lined up in the corridor. All class, even then. We need a lot more like them. Our condolences to his family.

Posted by Peter Waser - Acquaintance   September 23, 2020

It was a honor to watch you play, and to meet you.RIP

Posted by Ron Taylor - Mishawaka, IN - friend   September 23, 2020

You are the greatest had the pleasure of meeting you RIH Gale you will always be the greatest Chicago Bear

Posted by Neil Huffine - South Bend, IN   September 23, 2020

Deepest condolences to the Sayer family. He was an amazing man.

Posted by Lyn Estka - Friend   September 23, 2020

Gayle was one of the most gentle and kind men I have met in my life. His kindness had no boundaries. I was lucky enough to work for him and felt a very special closeness to him and Ardie. Dearest Ardie, please accept my deepest and most sincere condolences..today the world has lost a truly great man. I have been honored in my life to know you both.

Posted by Lyn Estka - Friend   September 23, 2020

My condolences to Mr. Sayers' family,
I first heard of Mr. Sayers watching Brian Song in middle school. Such a compassionate and loyal man. He is now reunited with Brian again. Thank you for sharing him with the world.

Posted by Linda - Connecticut    September 23, 2020

My favorite halfback of all time

Posted by A friend   September 23, 2020

As a football fan I remember Gayle as one of the most dynamic players to ever go into the NFL. If he could have stayed healthy, he would have set records that even the great "Sweetness" wouldn't have touched. I also saw Gayle on many regular tv episodes where he just showed what kind of man he was, someone who I would have been proud to call "Dad" even though I'm only 6 years younger.

Posted by Jim Hopkins    September 23, 2020

God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the family's..My heartfelt condolences to the family's

Posted by A friend   September 23, 2020

My great grandfather and Gale's grandfather were good friends and both had farms near each other in KS. Gale had moved there for a short time when his grandfather was ill before moving on to Nebraska. My grandmother used to talk about him all the time.

Posted by A friend   September 23, 2020

Mr. Gale Sayers was the epitome of greatest. Soft spoken but loving and kind at heart. I send my condolences and prayers to the family. My heart is broken. May God grant the family a sense of peace and comfort in this most difficult time. Gale was a masterpiece on more than the football field. He personified true greatness on and off the field. Always a strong beacon of bright light.

Posted by James Henderson - Archer Lodge, NC - acquaintance   September 23, 2020

Gale Sayers, a legend, a man of integrity, and man that could run that football as a fan I enjoyed watching his game. My condolences and prayers to the family, friends and fans. RIP GALE!!!!!!!

Posted by GERALDINE CHAPMAN - STONE MOUNTAIN, GA - friend   September 23, 2020

My prayers go out to the Sayers family, Mr Gale Sayers was a great football player as he shared his life with all of us. God Bless you Gale, you will now get to talk with Brian Piccolo in heaven

RIP

Posted by Chuck G - San Francisco, CA   September 23, 2020

I remember watching him play with so much intensity. He will be missed.

Posted by Cheryl Gregg - Oxford, GA   September 23, 2020

I can still see Gale running, and gracefully dodging across football fields. I have two Bear pictures in my office, of course one of them is Gale. His memory will never fade ahead.

Posted by A friend   September 23, 2020

Please accept my sincere condolences to the Sayers Family, May the God of Tender Mercies take care of you and comfort you with his endless peace and and loving kindness forever. Always lean on His arm of strength each day for support to cope with your precious loss. Thank you for Gale’s contribution to the Football League where he left a legacy to remember.

Posted by BRY    September 23, 2020

Gale was a great man and unsung hero. He came from a time when you could look up to athletes and provided a positive roll model to young boys such as myself. A light goes out with his passing and the world is a little darker.

Posted by Larry Horton - New Braunfels, TX   September 23, 2020

Enjoyed watching Gale run the football when I was a kid. Also enjoyed the movie Brian's Song. RIP Gale and Go Bears

Posted by Larry Strickland - Dothan, AL   September 23, 2020

Great person and a Super Great Football player, he is the definition of Greatness RIP

Posted by Fragola Peter Jr    September 23, 2020

He was one of the great all time pro-football players during a fantastic time in sports. My late husband was such a fan of the Chicago Bears never missing a chance to watch them play. We'd have our little competition as I have always supported Green Bay. Seemed no one could run like Gale Sayers....so quick he was. My heart goes out to his family and friends at this sad time. I remember well the movie, "Bryan's Song." What a wonderful reunion it must be for Gale and Bryan to be together again. My God hold you in the palm of His hand and RIP sir and thank you for some wonderful memories.

Posted by Valerie Banta - SANDY, UT   September 23, 2020

Candle

Condolences to the family of Mr. Gayle Sayers

Posted by Eusebio Cunningham - Chicago, IL   September 23, 2020


Family Album

Gale Sayers