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R.I.P. Karl Kassulke

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The Vikings have lost another member of their family far too soon, as former Pro Bowl safety Karl Kassulke passed away on Monday.  He was 67 years old.

Like his teammate Wally Hilgenberg, who also passed away recently, Kassulke was originally drafted by the Detroit Lions after his days as a standout at Drake University.  He was selected in the 11th round with the 152nd overall pick.  (To contrast that a bit to the modern draft, the 152nd overall pick now generally falls somewhere in the late fourth/early fifth round).  However, he was waived by the Lions and picked up by Minnesota.  He went on to play 10 seasons for the Vikings, including starting at safety in Super Bowl IV and being named to the Pro Bowl in 1970.

Unfortunately, as he was heading for training camp in 1973, Karl was involved in a motorcycle accident.  He was paralyzed from the waist down, and never played football again.  While he was rehabbing his injuries, he fell in love with his rehab nurse, Sue.  The two of them got married, and had been together for 33 years when Karl passed.

In addition to Sue, Karl is survived by his three sons, Kurt, Kory, and Christopher, three grandchildren, a brother, two sisters, and countless other family members.

Our condolences go out to the Kassulke family in their time of need.