Thomas B. Domres played 63 professional football games during his six-year career with the Denver Broncos and Houston Oilers.
Domres, who was a defensive tackle throughout his football career, died Monday of an apparent heart attack at his home in Burnsville. He was 53.
He was born in Marshfield, Wis., and graduated from high school in Gladstone, Mich., where he was an outstanding athlete, said Jim Mott, former sports information director at the University of Wisconsin. Domres lettered in 1965, '66 and '67 at the university.
"I thought he was an outstanding football player for us," Mott said. "He was a very aggressive rusher from his tackle position."
IDomres, who was 6 feet 1½ inches and 236 pounds, anchored Wisconsin's defensive line. He played with the Houston Oilers from 1968 to 1971. He played in 14 games from 1968 to 1970.
In 1971 he joined the Broncos after playing the season's first five games with the Oilers. In 1972 he played in 11 games. He was on the Broncos' roster in 1973, but didn't play.
Late in the 1972 season, Domres had knee surgery, which ended his career, said Paul Kirk, Broncos media relations coordinator.
Mary Gay Domres said her husband also had had a broken neck, and had arthritis.
"He had some serious medical problems, and he lived with pain," she said.
Doctors told Domres that if he played football and hurt his knee again, he would become an invalid, his wife added.
"Playing football was his main goal in life, so after that he had to regroup," she said. "He missed all the team fellowship and playing football."
She said he was a people person, so after his football career, it made sense that he went into sales. The Domres family moved to Burnsville in 1985.
For the past 14 years, Domres had worked for Yellow Freight System Inc. in Burnsville. Last year he won the President's Award for Sales, and was one of the top five sales representatives in the nation.
Mark Fraune of Apple Valley, a co-worker at the freight system, said Domres was "a very caring and loving person who was concerned with the quality of work he did and the relationships he had in the territories that he had for us."
In addition to his wife, Domres is survived by two sons, Andrew of Stevens Point, Wis., and Thomas G. of Burnsville; a daughter, Jennifer of Milwaukee; a brother, Terry of Peshtigo, Wis., and two grandsons.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. today at the White Funeral Home, 146th St. and Pennock Av., Apple Valley, and at 9 a.m. Saturday at Bloomington Assemblies of God, 8600 Bloomington Av. S. Services will follow the Saturday visitation at the church.