Mourners packed St. Michael Catholic Church this morning to say a final goodbye to football legend Jack Pardee. The beloved former Houston Oilers and University of Houston coach died April 1 after a battle with cancer.

Family, friends and former college and NFL players who played under Pardee, as well as former members of his coaching staffs, were in attendance. Pardee was a celebrated coach and football player himself, especially in the state of Texas.

He was an All-American linebacker at Texas A&M under Coach Bear Bryant, and was one of the Junction Boys there. Pardee then had a 15-year career in the NFL as an All-Pro linebacker before he became an NFL coach for the Oilers, Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins.

Pardee also guided great teams as a college coach at U of H with Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Andre Ware, who was in attendance today, along with former Cougars QB David Klingler. Texans coach Gary Kubiak and former U of H coach and current A&M coach Kevin Sumlin were also present at the funeral.

Whether it was at home or on the field, Pardee's values and faith never wavered.

"He approached every day with such joy and happiness. It really didn't matter what was going on in his life. He was always laughing about something or smiling," said his daughter, Judy Pardee.

Andre Ware said, "He just kind of taught me how to be me, through the way he lived his life. And I think that's the ultimate compliment that you can pay somebody that you want to live the way he lived. And a lot of us when we move on from this life would like to have that type of turnout and that type of respect left behind."

Everyone says the same things for that simple reason: Jack Pardee was the same with everyone.

Pardee had been battling bladder cancer since he was diagnosed late last year. He was 76 years old. _________________________________________________________________

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nfl, university of houston, texas a&m, ncaa, sports
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