Ex-Cowboys Coach Tom Landry Buried
DALLAS (AP) _ F-16s and World War II AT-6 fighter trainers flew overhead and Pro Football Hall of Famers sat in mourning Wednesday as former Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry was laid to rest in a private ceremony.
The timing of the funeral was not made public at the request of Landry’s wife, Alicia. Landry died Saturday at age 75 after suffering from leukemia for nine months.
The guest list of about 400 friends and family members included former Cowboys Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Harvey Martin and Dan Reeves. Frank Gifford, a teammate of Landry’s on the New York Giants, also attended.
Former Cowboys chaplain Howard G. Hendricks was among those who eulogized Landry at Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home. Afterward, mourners walked to the grave site at nearby Hillcrest Memorial Park for the burial.
``It was very upbeat, believe it or not. There were a lot of memories shared, the professional people all knew one another,″ said funeral home manager George Rohrer. ``Mrs. Landry got a lot of support and was fairly uplifted by the occasion.″
The F-16s flew over in a diamond formation, followed by AT-6s in the ``Missing Man″ formation, in which four planes fly over and one loops out to symbolize the dead pilot.
The AT-6 was the standard pilot trainer during World War II and Landry, who was a B-17 pilot, likely would have learned to fly in one.
Landry spent two years as a bomber pilot with the Army Air Corps. He flew 30 combat missions and survived one crash landing.
In addition to the jet flyover, Landry received full military honors in the form of a rifle salute and color guard.
More memorials and tributes are planned for Thursday. At noon, family and friends will hold a private memorial service at Highland Park United Methodist Church, where Landry was a member for 43 years.
Afterward, city leaders have planned a public memorial service at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.