The grandmother of former All-Ivy League linebacker Luke Hussey '11 and the figurative grandmother of a generation of Dartmouth football players, Winnie passed away peacefully Saturday a month shy of her 92nd birthday with family at her side.
|Winnie with "her" recruit, Greg Patton. (Photos courtesy of Tris Wykes)|
The unofficial team grandmother knew all of the players, like former Wildcat quarterback Greg Patton, who she would proudly tell you she recruited out of Atlanta. She knew also knew her football and while on the sidelines wasn't afraid to share her opinions about what the New York Jets were doing wrong 275 miles to the south.
When Luke Hussey walked onto the Dartmouth football team and became a Big Green stalwart his grandmother was justifiably proud. But if you were to ask a passerby at practice which player she was there to watch you would get a quizzical look because for as proud as she was of his accomplishments she had one-hundred plus grandsons on the field.
|Winnie with Kirby Schoentaler.|
Watching for a few minutes from a distance I ambled over to free the players, because I knew they wanted to visit with their buddies.
"You've got to let them go, Winnie," I said gently. "They have friends they want to see."
With that Winnie released her grip.
One of the players shared a knowing smile with me but for another 10 minutes he and his friend stayed by Winnie's side. Their old teammates could wait. There would always be time for the team grandmother.
(Editor's note: Since originally posting this story I received the photos I've now added. Be sure to check out the one of her with Ernest Evans that appeared in the Valley News HERE.)