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Thousands Line Streets in Tribute to Paterno

Posted on: 6:03 pm, January 25, 2012, by , updated on: 11:19am, January 27, 2012

Wednesday was a somber day in Happy Valley.

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was laid to rest.

Thousands of people lined the streets as the funeral procession wound its way around campus.

College Avenue in State College is a busy place normally, but Wednesday hundreds of people lined the street waiting to see the funeral procession. Many of them told Newswatch 16 it was a way to pay their respects to Joe Paterno one last time.

There is no doubt Paterno loved the university, and even more obvious, the Nittany Lion community loved him back.

People lined College Avenue waiting to catch one last glimpse of JoePa, as the funeral procession made its way through State College.

“People don’t turn out for someone who isn’t extraordinary. Very obviously he’s extraordinary,” said Donna Clemente of Woolrich.

“We thought we really needed closure. We met Joe Paterno three times. We’ve been to three bowl games and he’s near and dear to our hearts. We’re a Penn State family,” said Jackie Felion of Camp Hill.

In addition to the people showing their support, local businesses closed down from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. so they could say their final farewells.

“My entire family has gone here, my mom, aunt, sister. We’ve grown up watching Paterno through the years. He’s done so much for the school. I study in the library named after him,” said student Max McKeon.

“Just to remember him. He’s been, throughout my life, a family tradition. Just here to remember him,” said Travis Sobotor of Coal Township.

The procession made its way to College Avenue about 4:30 p.m.

University officials said thousands of people lined the Penn State campus and the streets of State College to say farewell to Joe Paterno.

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