Thomas My­ron Braatz

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Obituaries -

May 12, 1933 - Oc­to­ber 30, 2018

FT. LAUD­ERDALE - Born in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin to My­ron and Lila Braatz, Tom at­tended Mary D. Brad­ford High School, where he played bas­ket­ball, foot­ball and track. He was se­lected to the All State foot­ball team in 1950 and played in the an­nual All State North-South High School Clas­sic. As cap­tain of the bas­ket­ball team, he was cho­sen on the All Big Eight first team and voted the team’s MVP. Along with his ath­letic achieve­ments in high school, he also met the love of his life, Jeri. Tom at­tended Mar­quette Univer­sity and played foot­ball un­der coach Lisle Black­bourn. As a ju­nior, he was named co-cap­tain of the Hill­top­pers in 1954. Later in his col­lege ca­reer he was cho­sen to the 22-man ros­ter for the Shriners North-South Char­ity All-Star game in Mi­ami, Florida.

Tom was se­lected in the 14th round of the 1955 NFL draft by the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins. He was sub­se­quently drafted into the US Army in 1955 and served in the Korean War. He played on the All Star Army foot­ball team that beat the Navy All Stars 35-0 and was cho­sen to the Far-East All Army foot­ball squad which de­feated Air Force in the Rice Bowl in Tokyo in 1956. 1957 was his rookie year with Wash­ing­ton Red­skins un­der coach Joe Kuharich. He played both ways as a tight end and line­backer for three years. In 1960, he went to the Dal­las Cow­boys in the ex­pan­sion draft to play un­der Coach Tom Landry. A back in­jury in 1962 ended his play­ing ca­reer.

Tom was an NFL Front Of­fice Ex­ec­u­tive for al­most 40 years from 1965 to 2003 hold­ing var­i­ous ti­tles in­clud­ing Scout, Di­rec­tor of Col­lege Scout­ing, Di­rec­tor of Player Per­son­nel, Vice Pres­i­dent of Foot­ball Op­er­a­tions and Gen­eral Man­ager with the At­lanta Fal­cons, the Green Bay Pack­ers and the Mi­ami Dol­phins. In his 39 years as a front of­fice ex­ec­u­tive, Tom drafted 44 play­ers that played in 112 Pro Bowls. His teams went to 17 play­off games dur­ing his ten­ure. He has been in­ducted into the Pro Scout­ing Hall of Fame and awarded the Life­time Achieve­ment Award from his Alma Mater, Mar­quette Univer­sity.

In re­tire­ment, Tom en­joyed spend­ing time with his fam­ily at Lake Lanier in Ge­or­gia and at his home in Fort Laud­erdale, Florida where he taught his four grand­chil­dren about fish­ing and life. Tom en­joyed play­ing golf with fam­ily and friends, at­tend­ing Wil­lie Nel­son con­certs and he was an avid col­lec­tor of an­tique fish­ing lures, western belt buck­les, and stag horn carv­ing sets among other things. Tom is sur­vived by his wife of 63 years, Geral­dine Braatz; his two sons, Thomas D Braatz; Jonathan Braatz of At­lanta (Stephanie); and four grand­chil­dren (Jonathan II, Ryan, Han­nah, Sarah). A me­mo­rial mass will be cel­e­brated on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 1, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., at St. John the Bap­tist Catholic Church, 4595 Bayview Drive, Fort Laud­erdale, FL 33308.

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