Robert M. Noppinger, a retired sales manager for a Baltimore liquor distributorship, died Thursday at the Edenwald retirement community in Towson of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 79.
Mr. Noppinger was born in Baltimore and raised in Parkville.
He was a 1945 graduate of Loyola High School and earned his bachelor's degree in 1951 from Georgetown University after serving as an Army military policeman from 1945 to 1947.
Mr. Noppinger played football as a tight end in high school and at Georgetown University before being recalled to military service in Air Force intelligence during the Korean War.
"He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers, but Uncle Sam came calling," said his wife of 56 years, the former Mary Alice Foster.
After the war, Mr. Noppinger gave professional football a try, but appeared in only three exhibition games with the Packers before suffering a serious ankle injury.
He then decided on a business career and went to work in distributorship sales for the old Gunther Brewing Co.
From 1960 until his retirement in 1989, Mr. Noppinger was sales manager for the Churchill liquor distributorship.
He enjoyed carpentry and built several additions to his home in the Hampton section of Baltimore County. Since 2002, he had lived at Edenwald.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 30 at St. Isaac Jogues Roman Catholic Church, 9215 Old Harford Road.
Also surviving are three daughters, Mary Michael Klimt of Towson, Mary Patricia Kemper of Bel Air and Mary Elizabeth Garner of Marlborough, Mass.; and nine grandchildren.