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Meinert was three-time Pro Bowler

ST. LOUIS -- Dale Meinert, a star linebacker for football's
St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960s, has died after a long battle with
Alzheimer's disease.

Meinert died Monday in Clinton, Okla., said the United Methodist
Church of Hobart, Okla. He was 70.

Meinert played for Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), before
being drafted in 1955 by the NFL's Baltimore Colts. He opted to
play in Canada for three years before joining the Chicago Cardinals
in 1958 as an offensive guard.

The Cardinals moved to St. Louis in 1960, and moved Meinert to
defense. He was named the club's most valuable player in 1961, and
was selected for the Pro Bowl in the 1963, '65 and '67 seasons, the
latter his final in the NFL.

"The thing I remember most about him was that he was a
hard-nosed, hardworking man but yet he was a gentle man," said
former teammate Larry Wilson, a member of the Pro Football Hall of
Fame. "People talk today about players having a passion, but to me
passion is to be excellent at what you do -- he was that. He had bad
feet, he had to wear thick-soled shoes. But he'd still run like a
deer."

Meinert was named to the Cardinals' all-St. Louis team when they
left for Arizona in 1988.

Wilson said Meinert wasn't into celebrity. "He bought himself a
combine with his money from football, and would go home in the
offseason to farm," he said.

Meinert returned to Lone Wolf, Okla., after he retired to coach
high school sports. He became the Lone Wolf High School head coach
in 1969.

Ben Meinert said his father also farmed and taught junior high
math before the disease forced him into nursing home care for the
past 15 years.

Meinert is survived by his wife of 38 years, Carmerita, son Ben,
daughter Elizabeth Pierce, and others. Services will be at 2 p.m.
Thursday at the church in Hobart. Burial will follow at Lone Wolf
Cemetery.