MISSOULA, Mont. -

Monday friends and family celebrated the life of Missoula native and NFL agent Ken Staninger.

Staninger died of pancreatic cancer Saturday; he was 63 years old.

Staninger's wife, Mary, says her husband was diagnosed this fall but he didn't want to say anything to his players until the season ended.

NBC Montana talked to Staninger’s good friend and former client Scott Gragg, the co-offensive coordinator for the Grizzly football team. 

Gragg tells us Staninger was a great man who was well respected by many. 

Gragg says Staninger helped him get his own NFL career off the ground.  He says what started as a business relationship in the early ‘90s sprouted into a great friendship.

“There was never a doubt about the special relationships he had with his guys,” said Gragg. 

Staninger is described as a very down-to-earth guy who worked hard, but never took life too seriously.

“No matter the context, whether it was doing a deal, talking on the phone or fishing he always appreciated the moment and was of the friendship,” said Gragg. “He would comment or make part of the discussion how great it was that we were hanging out fishing, eating ribs, or whatever it was we were doing.”

Gragg tells us he’ll always remember how passionate Staninger was about his job and the people that he loved. 

Staninger is survived by his wife and three sons. 

“He’s that father figure, he’s a best friend, the spouse that you would have hoped to have,” said Gragg.  “He’s going to be greatly missed.”