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Last living Packer from ’41 Green Bay-Chicago playoff game died

Posted by Mike Spofford on March 2, 2011 – 12:16 pm

Ed Frutig, the last living Green Bay Packer who played in the 1941 Western Division playoff game against the Chicago Bears, died last weekend. He passed away on Feb. 26 at the age of 92.

A backup end, Frutig caught three passes in that playoff game, won convincingly by the Bears, 33-14, at Wrigley Field on Dec. 14, 1941. Until this past season’s NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field in Chicago, that was the only postseason meeting between the Packers and Bears in the history of the rivalry, which dates back to 1921.

Frutig was an All-American from the University of Michigan (1938-40) who was drafted by the Packers in the fifth round (No. 37 overall) in 1941. He played for the Packers in ’41, catching two passes for 40 yards in the regular season. He topped that production with the three receptions in the playoff contest, two more than Hall of Famer Don Hutson had that day. Following the ’41 season, Frutig was called into military service.

As a Navy pilot and instructor, Frutig continued to play football at his military base. He returned to the Packers in 1945 and finished his NFL career with the Detroit Lions (1945-46).


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