STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno was the public face of Penn State for decades, and tributes to the late coach highlight the influences his wife had on her husband, the football program and the university.

The Paternos were about as close to royalty as one could be in Happy Valley — a modest first family of college football.

Sue Paterno has served as a host to potential recruits, counselor to concerned parents, tutor to players and prodigious fundraiser for the university library. The library is where Joe and Sue met when he was an assistant coach and she a freshman.

They have five children and 17 grandchildren. They were almost always near each other and together again when he died this week at 85, a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.