Paterno Fans Say They'll Never Forget Hearing the News

Published 01/23 2012 08:13PM

Updated 01/23 2012 10:50PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY -- There was a time when you would only learn of events like this on the radio or on the 6 o'clock news.  But technology made news of Joe Paterno's death spread much faster. 

Smiles at Joe Paterno's statue are ones less of joy and more of pride.  Paterno's death is having an impact, that for some, feels similar to losing a family member.

"We got a call on Saturday night from a friend of ours that said Joe was in a serious life-threatening situation.  My wife started crying," Charles Hines of Lancaster County said.

Charles Hines was driving home from Delaware when he got the news on his cell phone.

"Jennifer, my one daughter, called and said that he had passed away.  On the way home we hatched the plan of coming here today," said Hines.

Craig Diehl of Elysburg found out on Facebook that Joe Paterno lost his battle with lung cancer just minutes after Paterno's family released their statement Sunday morning. 

"Definitely emotional I've been a big Paterno fan ever since I was 12 years old and came to my first game," Diehl said.

Diehl made plans with his friend Rich Hahn to come to State College.

"I knew it was coming Saturday when I saw the news but I just wanted to pay my respects."

The ease of getting that information also added to the spread of the erroneous reports that came out Saturday night that Joe Paterno had passed.But Joe Paterno was certainly a popular search term over the weekend.

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