If you aren’t sure about the impact Tunch Ilkin had on those around him, hear their words upon hearing of his passing on Saturday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Community lost one of its greats on Saturday morning with the passing of former Pro Bowl tackle and broadcaster Tunch Ilkin. Touching the lives of almost everyone he came in contact with, Ilkin’s legacy goes far beyond that of football.
Beyond being an NFL player, Ilkin made the most of his life as a broadcaster and pastor after his playing days. Upon hearing of his passing, numerous reporting and broadcasting colleagues and former players took to Twitter to offer their condolences to the Ilkin family.
Thank you for taking a youngin like me under your wing and showing me how to do things the right way. It was an honor to share the booth with you and Bill for two games last year. You will be truly missed. Love you Bro pic.twitter.com/KWWQK53471
— Charlie Batch (@CharlieBatch16) September 4, 2021
RIP Tunch Ilkin. Just a prince of a man who left this world far too soon. Terrible news.
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) September 4, 2021
RIP Tunch. An incredible man.
— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) September 4, 2021
RIP Tunch Ilkin
— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) September 4, 2021
RIP Tunch Ilkin. I’ve been in Pittsburgh for more than a decade, and he’s the rare person in sports media you never heard a negative word about. All class.
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) September 4, 2021
Tunch got to know my wife through some sports rehab he did about five years ago. That is when I jumped on the Steelers beat. When he put 2+2 together, he kidded me every single time he saw me about how lucky I was to have her. He was right, of course, but that was Tunch to a T!
— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) September 4, 2021
Very sad news. A great man and a great friend to many, Tunch Ilkin, has passed away. Thoughts and prayers are with the Ilkin family
— Alby Oxenreiter (@albyox) September 4, 2021
Sooo sad today A wonderful, faithful man and a great friend Tunch Ilkin, has died. Condolences and prayers are with the Ilkin family. His faith was incredible.
— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) September 4, 2021
RIP Tunch Ilkin. One of the most thoroughly decent men to walk the face of the earth. He will be missed.
— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) September 4, 2021
Well done, Tunch! You are a great example of the power of God’s love. I’ll miss you. See you soon. pic.twitter.com/DkOmaCNesN
— Kent Chevalier (@kentchevalier) September 4, 2021
Just really bummed about Tunch Ilkin’s passing. When I covered the team, he always went out of his way to say hello to me and ask if I needed any help carrying all my equipment. He was as genuine as they come. Really sad news today
— Jaime Baker (@JBaker_WTOV) September 4, 2021
When my wife Cindi’s lung cancer returned for the 2nd X, Stage 3, Tunch Ilkin grabbed my hand in a DVE studio, we knelt down & Tunch said a prayer for Cindi.
That’s the kinda guy Tunch was.
Wolf, we’re praying very hard for you too, pal. Please hug Tunch’s family for us. pic.twitter.com/KI4DVfYBc1
— Sean Mcdowell (@dvesean) September 4, 2021
What?! . A great man! Rest In Peace Tunch. Helped push the technique of lineman punching and using their hands. The Tunch Punch! https://t.co/j7plaP7ppQ
— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) September 4, 2021
Tunch Ilkin was a giant among men, literally & figuratively. Endlessly devoted to his family, profoundly successful athlete & broadcaster, & constantly serving the less fortunate. If we all strived to be more like Tunch the world would be a better place. A true Pittsburgh icon.
— Randy Baumann (@DVERandy) September 4, 2021
met a finer person. I am shocked , but not surprised. Heaven just became a finer place. Rest easy, my friend.
— Stan Savran (@StanLoveTheShow) September 4, 2021
We lost a Great one
Rest in Paradise my friend pic.twitter.com/EvBJSUKfzl
— Brett Keisel (@bkeisel99) September 4, 2021
Tunch Ilkin, who touched everyone, especially those who worked closely w him, has passed away. Not sure I ever met a better human being. ❤️
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) September 4, 2021
Loved going up to Tunch Ilkin to ask him about random Steelers camp offensive linemen. He would always break it down for me. Tunch was the epitome of a Great Human. You will not find a person who has a negative thing to say about him and that says all you need to know
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) September 4, 2021
Watched him play when I was little.
Grew up listening to him.
Was always genuinely kind when you’d run in to him.
Thoughts with his family, friends, and loved ones.
— Chris Mack (@THEChrisMack) September 4, 2021
The only time that I met Tunch Ilkin he hugged me as if we were lifelong friends. I couldn’t believe someone could be that friendly and kind. A very special man. RIP Tunch.
— Steve Mears (@MearsyNHL) September 4, 2021
Tunch Ilkin has died while battling pneumonia and ALS. A better person you will never meet. Sad day.
— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) September 4, 2021
Memories of Tunch date back to his playing days. Always engaging before the games, always available after the games, even the toughest of losses. Post-playing career he figured out how to put service of others first and derive joy and peace from his remarkably humanity. God bless
— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) September 4, 2021
Imagine living a life of such goodness, of such genuine generosity, that all you do is *add* to the lives of others on a daily basis.
That’s Tunch. Unlike anyone I’ve known.
A life brilliantly lived.
— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) September 4, 2021
Rest in Power O.G. You will be missed. One of the greatest humans I know!! All love Tunch. Thank you for just being you. pic.twitter.com/AmLO6I49hf
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) September 4, 2021
Not sure I’ve ever met a more compassionate human being. Thank you for your kindness, and devotion and love for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
RIP Tunch. pic.twitter.com/4FC1OVNdZ3
— Jack Hillgrove (@JackWTOV9) September 4, 2021
Rest In Peace Tunch Ilkin. What incredibly sad news. Just stops you in your tracks and makes you cry.
But I also think of this measure: If you can live a life from beginning to end and no one has something negative to say about you, what a success.
Tunch did that. Few do.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) September 4, 2021
I am terribly saddened by the news of Tunch Ilkin’s passing. He was a man I looked up to in so many ways. My love and condolences to the Ilkin family. Rest In peace in the presence of the prince of peace, Jesus Christ! Godspeed brother. #steelersbrother
— Chris Hoke (@hokiebro76) September 4, 2021
Tunch Ilkin was a voice of my childhood. He left an everlasting impact. I’m devastated he’s gone, particularly for his family. A legend.
— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) September 4, 2021
Tunch Ilkin made time for anybody. That included me on occasions I found myself helping on Steelers stories. He was a big man with a bigger heart, grateful and gracious and a giver. Very good player. Exceptional color analyst. Unforgettable Pittsburgher. Rest In Power, Tunch.
— Rob Rossi (@Real_RobRossi) September 4, 2021
When I say Tunch Ilkin made time for everybody, he really made time for everybody. I didn’t know him well, but I’m fortunate to be able to say I did get to know him a little bit. He loved his family, football, God, the Steelers and people in no particular order. RIP.
— Mike J. Asti (@MikeAsti11) September 4, 2021
May Tunch Ilkin Rest In Peace I didn’t know him personally, but he always had such a radiant smile when I’d pass him in the Steelers press box last season.
Sending thoughts and prayers to his family, and all of the lives he impacted. He was truly an incredibly special soul.
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) September 4, 2021
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Tunch Ilkin. Our thoughts are with Tunch’s family at this time. https://t.co/sFusbSrVyz
— Kennywood (@Kenny_Kangaroo) September 4, 2021
— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) September 4, 2021
Heaven apparently needed an offensive tackle or color commentator. Tunch was the absolute best. Wonderful, kind soul. Impacted everyone he met. A true legend. RIP Tunch.
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) September 4, 2021
I have a Tunch Ilkin story that I will never forget. Ever. RIP. pic.twitter.com/1qRHu7uzhp
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) September 4, 2021
The Steelers lost a lot of games in the 80s. Their locker room could be a tough place to work after games. The one guy you knew you could go to for answers given politely and patiently was Tunch Ilkin. Every time. Spoke/speaks volumes. RIP
— John Steigerwald (@Steigerworld) September 4, 2021
The BTSC Breaking News podcast giving tribute to the late Tunch Ilkin can be heard below: