Dear SuePa


Dear SuePa,

I know in these moments, many people are coming forward and apologizing for your loss. The news is reporting the loss of a great man and his legacy while sharing the laments of our school. This is a major occasion in football history; the loss of one of the greatest coaches of college football. Unfortunately, there is one role this man held that the news forgets to report – the fact that you’ve lost a husband and your children a father.

In the years that JoePa has been at this school, you have been by his side showing your support. Not only did you share your husband with hundreds of thousands of Penn Staters each week, but you became a part of our community, helping with Lion Ambassadors, Guard the Lion Shrine, and organizing the Beaver Stadium Run/Walk.

Yes, we all loved your husband. He created our mantra of success with honor and created what Penn State is today, but you helped grow Penn State into this honorable school through other programs, not just football.

So, as we continue to mourn the world’s loss, I’d like to remind you of a few things. We here at Penn State love you and loved your husband. Though we may not understand the depth of loss in your heart right now, we would be honored to help you bear this burden. Your Penn State family is here for you, and, on their behalf, I’d like to remind you that we are here for you should you need a hug, a shoulder to cry on, or simply support. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Though Joe is gone, you are still here, representing his legacy and we’d like to thank you for standing by his side for all of these years.

For the glory with love,

Chrissy (written on behalf of all Penn Staters)


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  1. As much as everything has made me feel the need to cry, this letter made it happen. Sue Pa is an incredible woman, and it’s important for us Penn Staters to acknowledge her individual loss. Thank you for writing this – it was so needed.

  2. Thank you so much, Chrissy, for expressing our feelings.  As much as we all feel the loss of Joe Paterno, it is the family that will bear this loss each day.

  3. Chrissy, you expressed what is in our hearts so well about how we feel about Sue and the rest of her and Joe’s family. Thank you so very much.