Cliff Battles, 71, one of the last surviving members of the 1937 Redskin team that won the National Football League title in its first year in Washington, was buried yesterday in Parklawn Cemetery in Rockville.
The former halfback, a member of both the college and pro football halls of fame, died in a Seminole City, Fla., hospital Tuesday of congestive heart failure after a long illness.
With the passing of Mr. Battles, Henry (Reds) Krause, a former center, is the only member of that team who still lives in the Washington area. Mr. Battles was a Washington area resident for more than 30 years.
Among those who served as honorary pallbearers yesterday were Byron R. (Whizzer) White, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Sonny Jurgensen and Ralph Guglielmi, both former Redskin quarterbacks; Jim Gibbons, former Redskin announcer; Earl Schreiber, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame; Joseph (Jocko) Miller, who was director of play at Congressional Country Club for many years; Ted Foley, who was Mr. Battles' superior at General Electric Co., and Jim Murdoch, who with Foley made the funeral arrangements for the widow, the former Edith Wann.
Mrs. Battles was fashion director of Woodward and Lothrop for many years and designed the uniforms for the workers in the 1976 PGA championship at Congressional Country Club. Mr. Battles was a member of the board of governors of Congressional until his retirement in 1979 and was a past president of the Touchdown Club and the University Club.
"I'm going to miss old Cliff," said White, who was an all-America halfback at the University of Colorado and later went on to win two NFL rushing titles with Pittsburgh and Detroit before opting for a law career.
"I played pro football a little after Cliff retired in 1937 when he gained 874 yards to leads the league in rushing," White added. "But I remember him as a tremendous football player and when I came to Washington we became close friends. We played golf for many years and he was always a fine player and a gentleman. I'll miss him."
Mr. Battles played pro football only six years, five with the Boston Redskins before the team was moved to Washington in 1937. He won three NFL rushing titles and quit at the height of his career in 1937 when he was only 27. Mr. Battles was making $2,500 a year and asked for a $1,200 raise which owner George Marshall would not give. So Mr. Battles quit pro football to assit Coach Lou Little at Columbia for $4,000 a year.
The Rev. Woodrow Wilson Hayzlett, of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Church, delivered the eulogy in Gawler's Chapel in Washington.