Pat Summerall stood in the front row at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, on Easter Sunday, next to his wife Cheri, as the congregation sang "The Old Rugged Cross."
"I looked over there at Pat, and big tears were streaming down his face," Prestonwood Pastor Jack Graham said. "Of all the times I've watched him on television, of all the times I've heard his voice, my greatest memory is going to be remembering Pat with his eyes lifted up to heaven, tears soaking his face, singing 'The Old Rugged Cross.'"
Summerall, the famed NFL broadcaster, died April 16 in Dallas of cardiac arrest at age 82. He had been in Zale Lipshy Hospital after surgery for a broken hip.
Graham said with all the accolades and applause that Summerall received for his sports broadcasting work, his walk with Christ is what mattered the most to him.
"He finished well," Graham said. "His faith was strong in Christ and he was prepared for eternity. His commitment was stronger than ever. Even though he was battling illness and the personal challenges of aging, he was joyful and constantly engaging people with his life and his testimony. He was always willing to share what Christ had done in his life and the transforming power of Jesus in his life."
After 10 years in the NFL as a kicker, Summerall spent more than 40 years calling NFL games for CBS and FOX, most notably with analyst John Madden. Prior to Madden, Summerall teamed with analyst Tom Brookshier.
"We lost one of the all-time greats yesterday in Pat Summerall," said Mike Greenburg, host of ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning," on his April 17 show. "He was one of the great football voices -- maybe the greatest football play-by-play man there ever was."
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SOURCE: Baptist Press