MAINS, GILBERT L., SR. Born December 17, 1929, Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Beloved husband of Dolores. Dear father of Gil Jr. (Michelle), Michael, Melissa (John) Gremm, William Sr. (Jennifer) Mains. Loving grandfather of Gil III, Khoury, Maxwell, Mary, Michael II, Christopher, Sadie, Sabrina, William II and Leila Louise. Also survived by his sister, Jo Anne, his brother Pastor Robert Mains; in-laws, Oriat Peters, Esther Kassab, Harold Kassab; niece/daughter, Marie Carpenter, nephews Eddie and Anthony and all the remaining nieces and nephews that he had so much fun with. Preceded in death by his brother Richard, sisters Ruth and Bernice, and in-laws Fred and Charles Kassab.
Gilbert served during the Korean War in the US Army. He was a Detroit Lion Player from 1953-1961, with two World Championships 1953 & 1957. He holds the Record for the largest Super bowl/Championship ring past or present a size 22; which a quarter will drop through the center. To stay in shape in the off season he was a Professional Wrestler. Gil was known for his generosity and keeping local Detroit charities functional. Also Wayne State University football program would be non-existent without Gil's fundraising and he helped found the Tartar Gridiron Club. Gil attended Murray State University in Murray, KY where he was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Wayne State University Hall of Fame. When he joined the Lions in 1953, Gil would jump feet first into the wedge on kickoff off returns and is still known today as one of the greatest legends in NFL history for special teams plays. In nine seasons with the NFL Gil never missed a kickoff. Art Donovan regarded him as one of the most feared and aggressive players in the NFL on the field and one of the most respected and well mannered off the field. John Madden was quoted as saying, 'he was the greatest wedge breaker of all time'. As he jumped feet first into the wedge and took out all four players the announcers said, 'that is Gil Mains a Murray State Thoroughbred' and the other announcer said, 'no that's a ''WILD HOSS''. Funeral Service Wednesday 4 p.m. at A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road (between Maple and Big Beaver). Family will receive friends Wednesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Visitation at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch will begin Friday, January 16, 2009 from 10 a.m. until time of the service at 2:00 p.m. with burial following at Logan Township Cemetery. Family suggests memorial tributes to the Salvation Army.
Read Gilbert Mains, Sr.'s Obituary and Guestbook on desmondfuneralhome.com.