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
”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
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
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
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.