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Former Bears tackle Antoine passes away

Former Chicago Bears tackle Lionel Antoine.

Former Bears tackle Lionel Antoine passed away Tuesday night at the age of 71.

Antoine was selected by the Bears with the third pick in the first round of the 1972 draft out of Southern Illinois. The 6-7, 258-pounder played his entire NFL career in Chicago, appearing in 68 games with 39 starts over seven seasons from 1972-78. 

Born and raised in Biloxi, Miss., Antoine returned home to Mississippi after his playing career and remained there the rest of his life. An article in the Biloxi Sun Herald following his death this week stated that the former Bears tackle "is being remembered as a hometown hero, not only because of his athletic prowess but because of the life he led and the example he set for the young people in his community."

Infinity Funeral Home in Biloxi will hold a visitation from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday and a service at 10 a.m. Friday for Antoine.