Penn State’s Paterno remembered at Pa. memorial

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was remembered at a

memorial Mass on Wednesday as an inspirational leader, devoted

family man and someone who tried to live according to the tenets of

his religion.

”He was not afraid to be the fully alive human being that God

called him to be,” said Bishop Joseph McFadden, during the

90-minute ceremony at the Cathedral Parish of St. Patrick in

downtown Harrisburg.

Paterno’s son Scott recalled how his father valued a round,

wooden dining room table, describing it as a metaphor for his

inclusive approach to life.

”That table was to my father what the Academy was to Plato,”

Scott Paterno said.

Joe Paterno died at age 85 last month after a brief battle with

lung cancer. The final months of his life were marked by a child

sex-abuse scandal for which his former assistant, Jerry Sandusky,

awaits trial on 52 criminal counts. Sandusky denies the

allegations.

Scott Paterno said his father showed courage and confidence as

death approached, and he exhibited no fear or anxiety.

”I watched my father live every day he had left without malice

in his heart or bitterness on his lips,” he told the hundreds of

people inside the cavernous Roman Catholic church. ”He was

determined at every turn, in every moment, to ensure that he made

an impact.”

Among the attendees was Gov. Tom Corbett, who did not speak at

the memorial but told reporters afterward he wanted to be there

because he missed the Jan. 25 funeral and memorial services in

State College, where thousands of mourners packed the basketball

arena following the former coach’s burial.

”This is my way of honoring Joe,” Corbett said. ”I’m very

glad I was able to be here.”

Joe Paterno spent 46 seasons leading the Penn State program, and

remains the winningest coach in major college football.

He was fired by the Board of Trustees in November, shortly after

he declared he would retire at the end of the season. He said he

was ”absolutely devastated” by the abuse case.