Kenneth was on the ballot in a Republican state senate primary in Harford County this year. Unitas campaigned for him.

"Kenneth was very nervous about the race. John just said, 'If the good Lord means for him to win, he'll win,' " Miller said.

Kenneth, 34, was defeated Tuesday.

Another son, Chad, 23, played on the golf team at Towson.

"John came to watch Chad as often as he could," Edwards said. "He was just another father of a student-athlete. He participated in the family events and never tried to tell the coach what to do. I've never met a man of that stature and accomplishment who was more humble."

Unitas' youngest child, Paige, is a student at Towson.

'He was special'

His last public appearance was at the opening of Towson's refurbished football stadium Sept. 5. As always, his fans took him back to his football days, and he went along for the ride with a wave.

"We chatted on the sidelines that night. He looked like a million bucks," former Colts teammate Lenny Moore said. "I said, to him, 'You're lookin' good.' He said, 'I'm trying to hang in there, Spud.' During the introductions, they called his name last, he walked out there nonchalant, the place went crazy."

Stotsky and Miller each saw him six days later, within hours of his death.

"That morning, I gave him some mail that had gathered at his old office in my building," Miller said. "We spoke for about 10 minutes in the parking lot. He said, 'Well, I have to go to Bel Air and film a commercial.' That was it."

Stotsky visited with him that afternoon at his office in Sammis' dealership. Sammis was giving Unitas space to work.

"I had a jersey for John to sign for a friend, had to be the last thing he signed," Stotsky said. "Then he got his stuff together and headed off to the [health] club."

Within an hour, Unitas had suffered a heart attack and died.

"A lot of people knew of John or had met him once at a signing event or a restaurant or bar, and he was always gracious," Stotksy said. "I was fortunate to get to know him quite well, and as I sit here now, I can't think of one negative thing to say about him. He was special. I feel fortunate that I got to enjoy his fellowship and friendship. Goodness, how I'm going to miss him."

Sun staff writer Mike Klingaman contributed to this article.