Dan Marino Sr., father of Pro Football Hall of Famer, dies at 71

MIAMI -- Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino's father has died.

Dan Marino Sr. died Sunday in Weston, said Linda Elachko of the John N. Elachko Funeral Home in Pittsburgh. She didn't immediately know the cause of his death.

Dan Marino Sr. was 71.

"My dad was the most loving father, grandfather and husband," Dan Marino said. "He was also a friend to everyone and best coach anyone could ever have."

Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said in a statement that the team was saddened to learn of the death of the former quarterback's father.

"A visible member of the Dolphins family, he was one of the team's biggest fans ever since we drafted Dan in 1983," Huizenga said.

"Along with his wife, Veronica, Dan Sr. instilled a sense of character in his son and raised him to be a model husband, father and citizen. We want to extend our sympathies to Veronica, Dan and the entire Marino family."

Marino Sr. was a longtime newspaper delivery driver in his hometown of Pittsburgh and moved to Florida after he retired.

The younger Marino was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 after playing for the Dolphins from 1983 to 1999, with career statistics that include 4,967 completions, 8,358 passing attempts for 61,361 yards and was the first player to pass for 5,000 yards in a season.

Services will be held Tuesday in Davie, followed by visitation Thursday and a funeral service Friday in Pittsburgh.

Other survivors include daughters Cindi Richert and Debbie Berger and 11 grandchildren.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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