Sadly, earlier this week I read about the passing of Darrel “Pete” Brewster, professional football legend and one of my distant cousins.
Darrel Burton Brewster, later nicknamed Pete, was born in 1930 in Adams County, Indiana, and grew up in Portland, Indiana, where he excelled in basketball and football. After high school he attended Purdue University, where he again excelled in football. After graduating from Purdue he was drafted into the NFL and played professional football for the Browns and Steelers. He later coached for the Vikings and Chiefs and received his Super Bowl ring in 1970, while coaching for the Chiefs. He played and worked with some big names in football back then, including Paul Brown, Buddy Parker, and Hank Stram. And unlike football players today, he played on offense, defense, and special teams because the teams needed players.
I met Pete once a few years ago and wrote a blog post about the meeting.  We had lunch with him in Portland and it was interesting to hear him talk about his football days. He also talked about his late wife Vivian (Hummel) and his family. His wife Vivian had passed away 2012 and I could tell he missed her very much.
Pete was a very nice, Christian man, who also loved music and had a great sense of humor. He was what you would call a gentleman. He was a humble man with an interesting career.
I talked to him a couple times on the phone after that lunch. We were going to meet up with him at the Portland Engine Show sometime, but we never did. He would sometimes attend the Brewster reunion but I usually had a conflict with the Schumm reunion, which is held on the same day.
Pete told me that he didn’t know much about his Brewster family history but he was interested in learning about the family. That was one thing that I could help him with that day at lunch and I gave him some family group sheets and photos. That was the least I could do since he let me try on his Super Bowl ring.
Pete was my first cousin twice removed, meaning that he was my grandma Gertrude (Brewster) Miller’s first cousin. Their fathers were half-brothers, sons of Daniel Brewster, but the half-brothers had different mothers. I descend from Daniel and Sara (Fetters) and Pete descended from Daniel and Mary Loverda (Bebout).
Pete died near his home in Peculiar, Missouri, on 3 January 2020. There will be a Celebration of Life service there on 11 January. You can read his full obituary at https://www.atkinsonfuneralhome.com/obituary/darrel-pete-brewster
Pete was the last surviving sibling of the five children of Frederick Emerson and Nellie Emma (Bricker) Brewster.
With Pete’s passing we lost a special man and a piece of football history.
Rest in peace, Darrel “Pete” Brewster.