Ex-USC Lineman George Belotti Dies

June 16, 2009

George Belotti, who played football for 3 years at USC in the mid-1950s and then was a member of the American Football League's first championship team, died on Monday (June 15) in Arcadia, Calif., from complications from a stroke. He was 74.

A prayer service will be held this Thursday (June 18) at 7:30 p.m. at St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral (1621 W. Garvey Ave., Alhambra 91803). On Friday (June 19), a funeral will be held at 11 a.m. at St. Steven's, followed by a burial at the Serbian United Benevolent Cemetery (4355 E. 2nd St., Los Angeles 90022).

Belotti, who attended Oxnard (Calif.) High, lettered for 3 seasons (1954-56) at USC as a left tackle. The 1954 Trojan team played in the Rose Bowl. He was chosen to play in the 1957 Hula Bowl after his senior season.

He then was an eighth round draft pick by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, but instead played center with the Houston Oilers in 1960 when they won the first AFL championship. In 1961, he played briefly for both the Oilers (who repeated as the AFL champion) and the San Diego Chargers.

Belotti, a longtime resident of Covina, Calif., worked for Jorgensen Steel and Aluminum and Pacific Clay Products after his football career ended.

He is survived by his wife, Marie, his twin daughters Mara Spilker and Cristina Witham and his granddaughter Courtney Spilker.

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