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Paterno family statement on legendary coach’s life, death


At the age of 85, legendary former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno passed away Sunday morning at 9:25 ET after a two-month battle with lung cancer.

Paterno’s family confirmed their loss roughly an hour after he died at a State College medical center, where he had been hospitalized since Jan. 13 due to complications from the chemotherapy he was enduring.  Here’s the family’s statement, in its entirety:

It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.

He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.

He has been many things in his life – a soldier, scholar, mentor, coach, friend and father. To my mother he was and is her soul mate, and the last several weeks have shown the strength of their love. To his children and grandchildren he is a shining example of how to live a good, decent and honest life, a standard to which we aspire.

When he decided to forego a career in law and make coaching his vocation, his father Angelo had but one command: Make an impact.

As the last 61 years have shown, Joe made an incredible impact. That impact has been felt and appreciated by our family in the form of thousands of letters and well wishes along with countless acts of kindness from people whose lives he touched. It is evident also in the thousands of successful student athletes who have gone on to multiply that impact as they spread out across the country.

And so he leaves us with a peaceful mind, comforted by his “living legacy” of five kids, 17 grandchildren, and hundreds of young men whose lives he changed in more ways than can begin to be counted.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON, The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon.

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32 Responses to “Paterno family statement on legendary coach’s life, death”
  1. 2difshoe says: Jan 22, 2012 11:18 AM

    Where’s the mute button ?

  2. randygnyc says: Jan 22, 2012 11:19 AM

    Not a word about the victims that through Joe’s inaction enabled their anal rape and a lifetime of depression and suicidal obsessions. Thanks for the memories, “coach”.

  3. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 22, 2012 11:20 AM


    How about instead of flowers , the family requests donations to the PSU/Sandusky/Paterno victims fund???

    But as usual, it’s about PSU and Paterno, not the victims.

  4. dominator71030 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:26 AM

    thatobnoxiousguy says:Jan 22, 2012 11:20 AM


    How about instead of flowers , the family requests donations to the PSU/Sandusky/Paterno victims fund???

    But as usual, it’s about PSU and Paterno, not the victims.

    How is it about penn state and paterno at all. They are giving the money to the special olympics which isnt about paterno or penn state. They aren’t taking the money themselves but want people to give it to CHARITY.

    You are disgraceful for disrespecting a man who just died TWO HOURS ago and his family. Poeple make mistakes and you never know what you would do in a situation unless you are in it.

  5. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 22, 2012 11:27 AM

    Hey Joe!

    Hope that coaching record was worth it.

    Also, when Sandusky gets there, you might not want to drop the soap.

  6. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 22, 2012 11:28 AM


    Sorry, then again Joe may want to “drop the soap” over and over and over again

  7. lemmam says: Jan 22, 2012 11:29 AM

    listening to ESPN the moderators are treating Jo Pa’s legacy as if he were a saint. Woody Hayes was more villified when he died and all he did was hit an opponent. Joe Pa did much worse – imo.

  8. panther17 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:30 AM

    RIP Coach JoePa

  9. hou2ttu says: Jan 22, 2012 11:32 AM

    There is something uncomfortable about this statement. It is like they are pleading with you to remember Joe as the grand image which was protrayed and forget the huge elephant in the room.

    How they can use the phrase “Happy Valley” is beyond me. These people appear clueless.

  10. bdawk20 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:33 AM

    For those ignorant Jesus-freaks, please note the following. Joe Paterno did not die due to karma from his inaction of the Sandusky incident. If you think that, you are implying that Jesus or God only punishes people when their actions come to light from a grand jury investigation, rather than when they actually happen. If Jesus/God really had a hand in this, Joe would have died right after the incident happened, but he didn’t, and he became the all time winning college football coach thereafter.

    So, sorry religion isn’t convenient for you today, let the man rest in peace. Go be angry today at one of Sandusky’s molested kids for taking his wife to dinner at the Sandusky household this past summer and asking that Jerry be involved in his kids life. Otherwise, I hope you are all punished if you ever do something wrong and then someone finds out about it 10 years later so Jesus can finally “take care of it”.

  11. rythmicslapping4jopa says: Jan 22, 2012 11:36 AM

    Harvey Updyke > Joe Paterno

  12. bdawk20 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:38 AM

    dominator71030, don’t bother trying with thatobnoxiousguy.

    All he has done over the past few months is sit in front of his computer and write as many hateful/inaccurate things about Joe Paterno/PSU/PSU Fans/ PSU Students whenever a Penn State story is published. He has some other issues in his life that, instead of sorting out himself, he is taking comfort in thinking he is better than anyone involved in this situation. While not stereotyping an entire community based on the actions of a few, he is sure to be asking his Mom to bring him down some meat loaf or checking the latest free adult you-tube sites for teen girls losing their inhibitions or collecting his unemployment check since the local Blockbuster went out of business (damn you Netflix!).

  13. tigerhawkeye says: Jan 22, 2012 11:39 AM

    “How about instead of flowers , the family requests donations to the PSU/Sandusky/Paterno victims fund???

    But as usual, it’s about PSU and Paterno, not the victims.”

    Are you actually not familiar with these charities, or do you just view this as just another opportunity to sling mud? Dance Marathon in particular raises money for kids with cancer. As terrible as I feel for Sandusky’s victims, at least they aren’t fighting for their very lives at a young age. Dance Marathon (and the other charities listed) are very, VERY worthy causes.

    JoePa made a mistake that had dreadful consequences, nobody is denying that. But this one day, let us honor a true legend in college football for his decades of contributions.

  14. 1wildfan1 says: Jan 22, 2012 11:47 AM

    Where are the brains on the guys vetting the posts here? For crying out loud, the body is still warm. Maybe the scum celebrating his death could be given their own forum, so those of us that wish to post heartfelt condolences on the death of a legend can do so without having to read the filth of the cybertards.

    RIP JoePa. You’re a legend. One lapse in judgment doesn’t erase your legacy.

  15. dryzzt23 says: Jan 22, 2012 12:01 PM

    If the elite liberal media rips JoePa for Sandusky’s actions then they MUST rip MLK b/c he was a true pedophile who was protected by the liberals and the black community

  16. hou2ttu says: Jan 22, 2012 12:03 PM

    The body may still be warm but the children who were harmed due to the inaction of all concerned at Penn State are alive and still suffering.

    If we are to hear a parade of good wishes, great memories, and honors today, they you are going to have to hear about the horror which took place at Penn State.

    For me you can’t separate the two.

  17. TxGrown says: Jan 22, 2012 12:06 PM

    thatobnoxiousguy cares nothing about sports. Only cares about spewing his bile in the form of commentary. Loves to be noticed & loves to be hateful. Oh by the way this moron earlier said he posted his last comment on this matter. So you see this pathetic idiot can’t help himself.

  18. melikefootball says: Jan 22, 2012 12:08 PM

    This man that so many on this site hate, raped not one child. We have to use the word alleged with Sandusky that all here should throw the hate words at. Joe was persecuted for doing what he thought was correct, telling his bosses. he was man enough to say he should have followed up. Yet ESPN and all the haters here have not gone after the judge, prosecutor and police that could have stopped this years ago. No one has gone after the AD or Finance officer that did NOT report anything. But Joe was persecuted by all media especially all day by ESPN and Howard Cowerd show untill ALL believed Joe did these hanas acts. Joe lived his life for Penn St and the community and at the end he was the thrown the wolves. Fired by the cutless board in a heatless manner. He died of a broken heart forsure.

  19. cowhawkfan says: Jan 22, 2012 12:15 PM

    Wow…I had no idea there were so many insensitive losers in the world. I guess this is the same type of person who shows up at our soldiers funerals and shouts insensitive remarks while the friends and family bury them. I would love for these brave individuals who hide behind screen names to post their real names and addresses so we can show up at the funeral of their loved ones and do the same. But, then…I’m not the much of a cold hearted insensitive a$$ to do such a thing.

    RIP Joe!!

  20. righton989 says: Jan 22, 2012 12:19 PM

    This self-serving sanctimonious money grubber who made millions with his buddies at Second Mile and enabled a pedophile to rape kids at PSU while he built his Chapel shrine to himself will be judged accordingly by the Creator. RIH

  21. cubano76 says: Jan 22, 2012 12:44 PM

    Every part of this is just sad. People have the right to speak their minds. Agree w/ them or not. I guess we should expect these types of comments from both sides.

    I didn’t know the man at all. Just what I saw on Saturdays, and what I’ve read since this all went down. Good coach on the field. And apparently and regular mistake making man off of it. I don’t know…..

  22. afreak2u says: Jan 22, 2012 12:49 PM

    The man just passed away and everyone wants to crucify him, yet when Michael Jackson the multiple child offender died oh how sad get real I am no penn state fan but the man and football legendary and don’t forget all the good he has done

  23. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 22, 2012 12:50 PM

    All he cared about was getting a coaching record. He didn’t give a damn about the student body, alumni, school, and he certainly didn’t give a damn about any kids that might interfere with his record.

    Yet all these morally deficient tools that worship, adore, and defend a Perv they never met is really disturbing.
    These clowns would still kiss his ass even if it were their own kids that got victimized……thats how mentally effed up they are.

    Joe Paterno. You were judged and found guilty by those that matter…… with brains.

  24. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 22, 2012 12:51 PM

    afreak2u says:
    Jan 22, 2012 12:49 PM
    The man just passed away and everyone wants to crucify him, yet when Michael Jackson the multiple child offender died oh how sad get real I am no penn state fan but the man and football legendary and don’t forget all the good he has done


    Michael Jackson = Sandusky = Paterno

  25. dgbk says: Jan 22, 2012 12:57 PM

    RIP Joe…. sad u will believe im he was the sick person who touched kids…. and stop with he enabled crap unless he held kids hands and walked them to sandusky how can any1 say that… he told wat he was told…. he didnt see a rape take place and go home and tell anyone…… even if he was told about sandusky twenty yrs ago he was 65… how many 65 yr old vigilantes u know

  26. hchausmann says: Jan 22, 2012 1:18 PM

    Think what you want of his associate, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno lead a long, successful life and should be remembered as the man he was before 2002, and the more recent findings of November 4th, 2011 as they relate to Mr. Sandusky. Joe Paterno was his own man and lived his own life. And bottom line, I cannot help to think he touched ALOT of people’s lives in a positive way, not only in football but throughout his entire life, in his many circles of influence. He taught young men to be strong, be disciplined, run a good race and fight the good fight, which, in and of itself was bibilical advice. It is not up to us to judge the man and today I choose to mourn the loss of the winningest coach in Collegiate football history. I believe a spokesperson for his family echoed my sentiments to a tee: “His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled. He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been.” So let’s try to LIVE BY THOSE WORDS in our OWN lives and let’s leave judgement where judgement is due… To God Himself. Something tells me though, that Mr. Paterno is gracing the floors of Heaven this day in Glory. We never will know until our own passing and that, perhaps, is best for everyone. We ALL make choices and need to live with them after all.

    Let the last 75 days of his life, not define his life please. The man was a legend in the College Sports world. He earned the right to die in dignity. “Let Him Who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone.” I choose not to cast ANY stones. And for all the negative posters to this site, please look in a mirror and examine all the sins in your own life before you pass judgement on this gentleman. Bottom line, a man is dead, allow his family, friends and colleagues mourn him as they should.

  27. chachooga says: Jan 22, 2012 2:03 PM

    This only saddens me….the scandal at PSU doesn’t tarnish JoePa in my opinion…and I am an FSU guy so no PSU homer love here.

    It makes me think worse of the Sandusky sicko and the disgusting evil things he was doing.

    Sandusky tarnished JoePa and PSU and now a legend has died.

  28. cowhawkfan says: Jan 22, 2012 2:27 PM

    Baptist Church should recruit on this site, as there are many like minded morons on here.

  29. cowhawkfan says: Jan 22, 2012 2:29 PM

    Pardon the error, that was supposed to say Westboro Baptist Church should recruit on here due to the like minded morons on this site. I recognize most Baptist churches are good minded people.

  30. righton989 says: Jan 22, 2012 2:31 PM

    For PSU jock supporters, it will always be about how many football games JVP coached and never how many boys’ lives he helped destroy by allowing his life-long pedophile buddy access to the PSU shower rape rooms. RIH.

  31. inconsonance says: Jan 22, 2012 3:37 PM

    cowhawkfan: I recognize most Baptist churches are good minded people.

    No, not really. Good people aren’t judgmental retards who worship the sky fairy.

  32. righton989 says: Jan 22, 2012 4:31 PM

    Slamn’ Slappy Sandy sez, “Nobody watched my back or made me more money than you Joey. Too bad you checked out before the civil lawsuits could tap your millions. RIH.”

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