Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011
Posted 7:59 p.m. Updated 8:50 p.m.
By John Mullin
Sad news out of the Bears late Sunday, that Tim McCaskey, second-oldest of Ed and Virginias 11 children, had died of cancer.
Tim was sick for the past 17 months and somehow the Bears light is just a little bit dimmer tonight with his passing. Tim was a character, a certified character, and I think his default setting was imp, with a laugh and laugh lines that were signature.
So, a story he shared with me, one that was happening almost exactly 25 years ago:
After the Bears won Super Bowl XX, Michael McCaskey was celebrating with everyone else afterwards. Trouble was, Michael was being your basic older brother, had the Lombardi Trophy, and he wasnt letting it get too far out of hand. Tim wanted a piece of that action.
So Tim waited til Michael had to put the trophy down to use the rest room. Gone. Tim spirited it away behind some curtains for some pictures with his family. Michael was frantic searching for the lost Lombardi Trophy.
When Tim was done, he poked his head out through the curtains to be sure the coast was clear. He spied a backup player walking by and called him over.
Do you know me? Tim asked the player.
No, the player answered.
Good! Tim said, quickly thrust the trophy through the curtains and into the hands of the slack-jawed player, and ducked back behind the curtains.
That was Tim. The imp.
My feelings go out to Virginia McCaskey tonight. Our children arent supposed to pre-decease us, and this has to have been awfully painful for her, and for the rest of the family.
Tim was dedicated and took great pride in working for his familys business, the team said in a statement. He was proud to be part of the Chicago Bears family, and to him it was family.
Despite battling cancer over the past 17 months, Tim never allowed the illness to dampen the spirit and sense of humor he was known for at Halas Hall.
Tim, first and foremost , was a fan as passionate, loyal, critical, analytical, committed and devoted a Bears fan as there ever was, said the McCaskey family. The tenacity and dignity with which he fought this dreaded disease is an inspiration to all of us.
Tim was named to his vice president position in 1993 after a four-year, part-time affiliation with the club. He spent 18 years working for IMC Fertilizer Inc. and its predecessor along with a seven-year span with Ernst & Young prior to joining the Bears. He is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame University.
Tim is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, 10 siblings and Virginia.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.