PALM DESERT, Calif. - Al 'Hoagy' Carmichael died in his Palm Desert home on Saturday. He was 90.
The legendary former NFL'er played for both the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos during his career.
News Channel 3 interviewed Carmichael a few years back, discussing the sport: "It draws people in," he said. "It's an exciting sport because it's very competitive. Maybe even the roughness of it...the hard-hitting of it...people are sort of humanistically drawn to it," he added.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Durkee Carmichael, who was by his side when he passed, according to a release sent out on his family's behalf. He is also survived by his two daughters, Pam and Stacy, who he had with his late wife Jan Carmichael, two stepsons, Darin Durkee and Bruce Durkee, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His son, Chris, passed away in January, according to his obituary.
His pro football career spanned eight seasons and 84 games. He is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, scored the first touchdown in American Football League and Denver Broncos history, and held the record for longest kick return touchdown, 106 yards, for over 50 years (Carmichael's record was first broken in 2007).
His wife Barbara Durkee Carmichael and stepson Bruce Durkee sat down with News Channel 3's Madison Weil Monday afternoon to talk about the legacy Carmichael leaves behind.
"It's a remarkable career that he's had," said his wife Barbara. "He was very proud of the 106 yards...especially since the coach didn't want him to do it. He was a feisty guy. He knew he could. He was fast. He was very fast on the field," she said.
Stepson Bruce Durkee also commented on Carmichael's humility in light of so much notoriety: "He really was able to talk about that without sounding braggadocious. He really had that humble quality about him."
He is a former University of Southern California Trojan, having played for the team in the early 50's. He scored the lone touchdown in USC's 1953 victory over Wisconsin.
Before going pro, Carmichael was a member of the United State Marine Corps. He developed a love for football while playing for the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro's base team.
He was taken by the Packers seventh overall in the first round of the 1953 NFL draft.
Away from the field, Carmichael also tried his hand in the limelight, working as an occasional stuntman and extra in over 50 films. He served as one of Kirk Douglas' doubles in Spartacus (1960), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Son of Flubber (1962), How the West was Won (1962) and on the TV Show Rawhide.
"He also enjoyed the offseason because he got to do so many stunts and appearances in different movies and television," added his wife Barbara.
His family says he'll be remembered by loved ones not only for his accomplishments but also for his good sense of humor: "That sense of humor didn't let up even when he was on hospice care...we watched the opener of Green Bay the other night...and Al was really at the end of his life...but at one point he looked up at the caregiver and me and said, 'Get me out of this bed and put me in,'" said stepson Bruce Durkee.
Carmichael's public memorial services will be held at Shadow Rock Church at 79390 Highway 111 in La Quinta on September 28 at 11:00 a.m. The family says anyone is welcome to attend.
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