We asked for your cutest and most-spirited Penn State grandparents, and you certainly delivered, from tailgating kings and queens to the grandma who decked out her walking cane in blue and white.
Without further ado, here are our favorite Happy Valley senior citizens:
Beverly and Bill Klucher
Nominated by: Katie McNeil, Class of 2018
Nominated by: Justin Campbell, Class of 2013
Affiliation to Penn State: My grandmother has enjoyed Penn State football for over 40 years. My grandfather and grandmother had season tickets from the late 1960’s until my final year of school in 2013 (the drive from York became too much for them as they have aged).
Her story: My grandmother is beloved at the tailgates for her passion. It was always a treat for my classmates to enjoy our tailgate and my grandmother was always the STAR. Whether it was her feisty attitude towards the opposing team or her famous burgers in sauce, my grandmother always brought the energy on game day. She takes a large amount of pride in the school and always proved that on Saturdays in the tailgate fields. Although she no longer has season tickets, she watches every game….in her Penn State room of course, decorated with all things Penn State accumulated over the years as PSU’s biggest fan.
Tom and June Hutchison
Nominated by: Tyler Hutchison, Class of 2019
Their story: My grandpa graduated from Penn State in 1952. Once he married my grandmother, she fell in love with Penn State as well. My family has a very deep connection to Penn State all the way back to my great grandpa. Since then, all of my aunts and uncles have attended Penn State, as well as he majority of my cousins. Years ago, my grandma started making one of a kind Penn State sweaters for only our family members to wear to the games. Many people have tried to get her to make them one, but she will only do it if you are in the family. My grandparents have had season tickets since 1991, and we were all raised at Penn State football games.
Nominated by: Michael Fink, Class of 2018
His story: Karl Fink Graduated from Penn State in 1963, he was a brother of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), a fraternity. Back when football players were allowed to be in fraternities, many of his brothers were football players due to the fraternities close proximity to Rec Hall and the old practice fields. Joe Paterno, an assistant coach at the time, would regularly walk down to the Phi Gam house and eat lunch with the players and brothers of the house, starting a friendship between Joe Pa and Karl that withstood the test of time. Karl and fellow fraternity brothers created a rock and roll band called “The Dappers” and would play at Penn State and other college fraternities up and down the northeastern part of the US. Karl met his beloved wife Diane, a sister of the Delta Gamma sorority, and married her shortly after graduating. Karl and Diane are still happily married and living in Naples, Florida.
Family is one of the most important things to them and so they created an Endowment with the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) department of Penn State with the hopes that others can truly experience the gift of a supportive family. Currently Karl and Diane are traveling across the US in their RV visiting their grandkids and children. Most recently they, took four weeks out of their schedule to stay in State College and hang out with their youngest grandchild (me) and the FIJI brothers, throwing awesome tailgates and teaching the PSU students valuable life lessons, like how to make the best Queso in the world and how to live long and happy lives by being a blessing to others. Both of my grandparents are the ultimate Penn State Grandparents – they are major contributors to PSU athletics and major lovers of stickies and Berkey Ice Cream. They are the most supportive, generous, and accepting individuals and Penn State is blessed to be able to call them Alumni because they represent everything good about this university and live their lives to the absolute fullest!
Suzann and Vin Tedesco
They now live on Ridge Ave, which is (literally) across the street from the Nittany Lion Inn. They tell me that the Paterno kids used to take piano lessons in the house. They also have a PSU bedroom, which is adorned with artifacts from their many years of fanhood. My grandparents had three children — V.J. Tedesco, Matt Tedesco and Kim Tedesco. All are PSU graduates. My dad, V.J., and uncle, Matt, are also Army Colonels who served tours during the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. My mom is also a PSU alum and Army veteran. I, obviously, also went to Penn State and graduated in 2014.
Kent and Mary Addis
Nominated by: Laura Forsyth, Class of 2020
Paul and Noreen Waller
Nominated by: Katie Bartuska, Class of 2019
His story: My grandfather, a member of class of 1950, was the only one of his nine siblings to attend college. This was largely made possible because of the G.I Bill, and without the war and the bill, he might have ended up a coal miner like his father and two of his brothers. However, upon his attendance, my grandfather’s love of Penn State – especially Penn State football – was born.
He often tells a story about when he was pledge master at Theta Xi. The pledge class allegedly kidnapped him for the weekend and removed the utensils and faucets from the fraternity house. They then took my grandfather to a cabin in the woods and forced him to cook for them. Since the only thing he knew how to make was potato pancakes, he claims the pledges had it worse than the fraternity brothers who spent the weekend without cooking utensils.
My grandfather would eventually go on to teach Electrical Engineering at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, and also to becomea dedicated football season ticket holder. Him and my grandmother even attended football games on their honeymoon and with all of their children and grandchildren to celebrate their 50th anniversary. My grandmother would tag along, but would always take a book to read. To this day, both my grandmother and grandfather still joke that she would only look up to see what JoePa was wearing.
Currently, my grandfather is 92 years old, while him and my grandmother prefer to watch the game from the comfort of their home, they still make sure to look for their grandchildren in the student section!
Joe and Delores DeLaurentis
Nominated by: Sophia Burghardt, Class of 2019
Their story: My grandparents didn’t go to Penn State. My Poppop only went to school up to 8th grade, and my Nana only got up through high school. However, with my brother and I (half of their grandchildren) attending PSU, my Nana and Poppop got SUPER into Penn State. They especially love Saquon because he comes from Whitehall, the town right next to where they lived for 50 years. For every game, they put on their 26 jerseys, get out their pom poms, and cheer on the whole team. Every weekend, my Nana and Poppop will FaceTime me and check up as well as talk about their favorite parts of the game (mainly just them raving about Saquon and asking me why I’m not dating him lol). My Nana sends me newspaper clippings of articles about Penn State, and my Poppop went to his first PSU football game (vs. Army in 2015) which was extra special because he served in the army. Even though they didn’t go to Penn State, they love it just as if they were alumni.
Helen and Donald Golder
Nominated by: The Golder Family
Their story: Donald attended Penn State University from 1968-1972, getting his Masters (’70) in Meteorology (ever hear of AccuWeather?) and his working towards his Doctorate in 72’. During his time at Penn State, he & his wife Helen had 5 sons: Brian, Jim, Chuck, Donny, & Keith. Even though he attended Florida State for his undergrad (we won’t hold that against you), Donald has always been passionate about the Nittany Lions. From the Rip Engle era to leapin’ Saquon Barkley, Saturdays in the fall, regardless of kickoff time, take priority for Donald. (Over the years, Helen has learned to not get her hair done on a Saturday because Don will never notice…)
As for all of us, we were born into it; but luckily, Helen married into it. She became passionate about Penn State while raising her kids in Graduate Circle and supporting her husband during his time at school. Even when she would have to take care of her babies while he studied, student taught, went out for happy hour, or attended football games in Beaver Stadium (the good ole days when student tickets cost $10 for the season), she wouldn’t trade those days for anything. It was all worth it to her. Waupelani Drive will forever hold many memories of the good days, tough days, and the best days but most importantly the days where their roots grew deep in Happy Valley. Their love of Penn State quickly spread to their sons, daughter in laws, grandchildren, and even their friends, especially Nick Massaro.
For the past 50 years, many aspects of Penn State have molded them into the amazing grandparents they are today: THON, tailgates, beer money, late night phone calls, helping with Meteorology homework, the GOAT’s chair for game day, long time friendships, graduations and many bowls of Creamery ice cream, to name a few.
The journey continues for Helen and Donald as they celebrate 51 years of marriage, countless cases of Coors Light, and two more grandchildren who have applied to Penn State University. Whether they are traveling the world in their Penn State gear, relaxing on LBI telling us that God is a Penn Stater because the sky is blue and white, or figuring out how to operate their computer in their Penn State themed office, Helen and Donald share love and passion in every single thing they do. We Are lucky enough to experience this every day and We Are grateful that they are our Penn State Grandparents!
Joseph and Margaret McCallus
Nominated by: Grace McCallus, Class of 2017
Their story: Joseph McCallus attended Penn State University after serving time in the Navy in the 60s. He and his wife, Margaret, lived in a tiny apartment in Lemont while he studied at Penn State. During college, Joe worked as a delivery boy for Home D. He traveled around town with a refrigerator full of pizza in his truck, often accompanied by football players that hitched rides from him. After graduation, he went on to become the Manager of the HUB-Robeson Center. While he worked there, Marge took a job in Old Main. After some time, Joe and Marge moved back to their hometown in Hazleton, PA. Here, Joe stayed affiliated with Penn State and became the Dean of Student Affairs at Penn State Hazleton. His four sons all attended Penn State, and his two granddaughters (Grace – Penn State Class of ’17 and Lilly – Penn State Altoona – Freshman) went on to follow in the family’s footsteps.
Nominated by: Abby Spor, Class of 2020
His story: My grandpa graduated from Penn State in 1966 and has ever since made Penn State not only an alma mater, but also a lifestyle. In 2001, my grandpa fulfilled his lifelong dream and bought season tickets, and he has hardly missed a game since. Not only does he make the 3 and a half hour trip up to Penn State for most weekends in the fall at the age of 74, he also has been to every stadium in the big 10 except for Nebraska and Iowa. He attends multiple different Penn State games including plenty of bowl games, like the Rose Bowl, and made the trip to Ireland a few years ago during the bowl ban.
My grandpa truly lives and breathes Penn State and has raised his children and grandchildren to do the same. I am so lucky to have not just a great grandparent, but also an amazing Penn State fan who has also made me passionate about Penn State. My sister and I would not be here without him and definitely would not have as much Penn State apparel! Thanks Grandpa!
Nominated by: Monica Corsetti
Her story: This is our 90-year-old grandmother, “G.” She became a Penn State fan in 2010 when Monica (that’s me) started at PSU. She rarely misses a game on TV and is always sure to wear her blue and white! While the three of us attended school, she even made the trip up to State College to visit a few times. When I graduated, she channeled her inner student and rode the Blue Loop to my graduation. During one visit, she got the full Penn State experience by staying in the dorms (McKee Hall, to be precise) with Mimi. She even ordered insomnia cookies. Just because G is 90, don’t think for a second that she’s a pushover. She’s had to defend Dear Old State on her very own street: when her neighbor put up a Pitt flag, she retaliated with am even bigger Penn State one on her garage.
Nominated by: Joseph Haffner, Class of 2021
His story: A native of Clarks Summit, PA – Poppy enrolled at Penn State in 1950 and graduated in 1954.
He was on the Freshman basketball team (which they no longer have), involved in Intramural Boxing, and a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He met his future wife – Betty Smucker (also Class of ‘54) – while in line at registration. A girl from his high school introduced them. Betty was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and served as a local advisor to the sorority after graduation. They married the last semester of his senior year by eloping to Winchester, VA.
After graduation, he served 2 years with the Air Force and a year with IBM (in Detroit), then, in 1957 returned to Penn State as an assistant to the Registrar. He held various positions in the department, becoming Assistant Director of Admissions-Registration and Scheduling, then becoming Director of the same department. He retired as Registrar in 1990.
After retirement, he and Betty remained in State College, and in his 60 + years affiliated with the University, has missed less than a handful of home football games and tries to attend as many events at the University as time allows. He golfs nearly daily at the White Course (when weather permits).