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Former Broncos DL Pete Duranko dies at 67

Posted on: July 10, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 3:08 pm
 
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Even when he was afflicted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s Disease), former Broncos starting DL Pete Duranko never stopped living.

He attended his high school reunion last week, and he was a national spokesman and fundraiser for ALS. According to his wife, Janet Duranko, she had never seen anybody fight as hard as her husband had.

On Friday, though, in his hometown of Johnstown, Pa., Duranko died at the age of 67.

"Pete was such a fighter," Janet, who was married to Duranko for 43 years, told the Denver Post. "… It was a blessing that he passed, because it was getting very hard at the end. He spent a lot of time over the last six months in hospice care."

Duranko -- who was athletic enough to walk across the practice field on his hands -- was an All-American in 1966, the same year his Notre Dame team won the national title. He then played in Denver for eight seasons and retired after the 1974 season.

In a 2003 interview with the Post, he said dying wasn’t the real thing that scared him about his disease. It was the disappearance of regular life. 

"You know one of those little coffee creamers? It takes me an hour to open one of those things," Duranko said. "I look pretty strong up here in the shoulders, but my fingers, I have no strength here. I was in the hotel room trying to open that little ketchup bottle, you know with that annoying plastic around the top. You know, the one you get from room service? It takes me forever to open it, and the food gets cold. But I'll eat it anyway. So, yeah, I'll get mad, but then I finally laugh. I mean, what else am I going to do? … I’ll keep living every day.”

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Category: NFL
Comments
fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:20 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 2:37 pm
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:40 pm
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Since: Jul 14, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:29 am
 

Former Broncos DL Pete Duranko dies at 67

ALS is a brutal disease, I know from experience. Diagnosis in February 1993, on life support now for 13 years. Pete is a man among men, way to go HERO, RIP!

God Bless



Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: July 12, 2011 12:11 am
 

Former Broncos DL Pete Duranko dies at 67

Unbelievable. Still have his 1969 Topps football card. Rest in peace,# 55.



Since: Apr 12, 2009
Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:24 am
 

Former Broncos DL Pete Duranko dies at 67

RIP from the Mile High!



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:21 am
 

Former Broncos DL Pete Duranko dies at 67

Man, I never heard of Pete, in all my years of following the Broncos.  My condolences to his family, God bless you all, and may you find peace in your tough times.  Pete's a Bronco forever, he's family!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_D

uranko




Since: Jul 26, 2007
Posted on: July 10, 2011 3:16 pm
 

Former Broncos DL Pete Duranko dies at 67

Wow, I hadn't heard that name in years.  I remember him as a good-but-not-great player on some bad Broncos teams, and apparently a good guy.  RIP, Pete. 


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