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Published January 24. 2012 05:01PM

The death of iconic Penn State Coach Joe Paterno has generated an outpouring of affection from persons across the Commonwealth.

On Monday, Gov. Tom Corbett ordered the state's flags lowered to half-staff in honor of the legendary coach.

Also on Monday, State senators and House representatives each held a moment of silence in their chambers and listened to remarks from two Penn State alumni House Speaker Sam Smith and Sen. Jake Corman.

Rep. Smith told colleagues that he'll remember the class, dignity, and humbleness of a man who turned down the riches of an NFL coaching contract so he could make a difference in the lives of Penn State students.

Sen. Corman called Paterno a coach, educator and humanitarian who took an interest in young people's lives, not just what they could do on the football field. He says that if people remember Paterno's commitment to excellence, he'll never truly be gone.

Paterno's death has also prompted much local reflection. Here is some feedback from responders to one blogger's invitation to comment about the Paterno legacy.

Jason Gilbert, Coaldale:

Joe Paterno always showed the ultimate dedication to the thing he loved ... Penn State University. He was a husband, a father, a coach, a leader and to me, a hero.


Ray Swartz, Tamaqua:

Joe did a lot for Penn State. Everyone had a lot of respect for him for what he did. It is a shame that the end of his life ended the way it did. Those people who fired JoePa will regret what they did. It not only broke Joe's heart, it broke everyone's. Joe Paterno will live on forever in college football history and Penn State!"


Gladys Neff, Tamaqua:

I think Joe was a great guy, both on the field and off. He, along with the players, made Penn State football what it is. I truly don't think him not taking hearsay to higher officials should have cost him what it did. He will always be a legend in my heart and mind ... RIP. Joe you are my HERO!!!


Suzanne Jones, Summit Hill:

I'm not a big football fan but Mr. Paterno was a definitely a true inspiration to so many! My heart and prayers go out to his family, friends and many fans ... he will surely be missed by many. May he Rest in Peace!


Denise Lee, Tamaqua:

A living legend in his time a household name so many of us grew up hearing. A great coach and man who will be missed greatly by so many!


Ryan Fannock, Tamaqua:

Joe Paterno was a great inspiration for many. He was and will continue to be a role model for many. He will be greatly missed!


Lindsay Skittles Searfoss, Lehighton:

Joe Paterno was the best football coach to Penn State ever. Since he died I've been upset he will never leave my memory.


Crystal Boyer, 15, Tamaqua:

Joe Paterno will be greatly missed and he will be a legend that will never be the same. He will be a legend that will never be forgotten.


Jennifer Scott Ruch, Tamaqua, Penn State class of '95:

Joe Paterno put the magic in Happy Valley. He was not just a coach, but a leader, a philanthropist, a friend and an inspiration.



Here is the schedule of services for Paterno:


Public Viewing from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Pasquerilla Spiritual Center)


Public Viewing from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Pasquerilla Spiritual Center); Private Funeral at 2 p.m.


Public Memorial Service at 2 p.m. (Bryce Jordan Center).

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