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Vigil to honor Joe Paterno is planned on anniversary of his death

January 21, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Joe Paterno died one year ago Tuesday.
Joe Paterno died one year ago Tuesday. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

Hall of Fame college football coach Joe Paterno died of lung cancer on Jan. 22, 2012, at age 85. His reputation was in tatters because of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case, and one year after his death, his reputation is still tarnished.

But on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of his passing, some residents of State College, Pa., will hold a vigil at a downtown mural that includes a depiction of Paterno.

A family spokesman has said the Paternos would not take part and would remain in privacy.

Those residents say all the good that Paterno has done should not be forgotten by the school.

“The university should lead the way and not sit in silence,” Ed Stine said.

“We still have an overwhelming majority of people who say he should be honored,” Anthony Lubrano said. "It's important for us to address if we're going to heal and move forward."

A survey of alumni conducted for the school by an external public relations firm found that 75% of respondents said the school should publicly recognize Paterno for his decades of service. The survey of 1,172 alumni was taken online and over the telephone, with a margin of error that was 2.86%.

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