Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ginger Suhey of Penn State's "First Family" passes away

Virginia H. "Ginger" Suhey, who was the daughter, wife, mother and grandmother of Penn State football players, passed away at the age of 84 on Monday at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College. The Suheys, who have had seven family members play football for Penn State dating to 1914, are considered "The First Family of Penn State football."

Ginger Suhey of Penn State's "First Family" passes away

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Virginia H. "Ginger" Suhey, the daughter, wife, mother and grandmother of Penn State football players, passed away Monday at the age of 84 at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College. The Suheys, who have had seven family members play football for Penn State dating to 1914, are considered "The First Family of Penn State football."

Ginger's father was Bob Higgins, who in 1919 became just the second All-American to play for Penn State and later coached from 1930-1948. She married one of Higgins' players in Steve Suhey, an All-American guard, and they had seven children. Steve Suhey passed away Jan. 8, 1977.

Three of their four sons, Larry, Paul and Matt, played football at Penn State. Kevin Suhey, Paul's son, played for the Nittany Lions from 2005-07 and Matt's son Joe is currently a fifth-year senior and the starting fullback for Penn State.

“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Ginger Suhey," acting athletic director Dave Joyner said in a statement. "Ginger and Steve Suhey and their family have made a remarkable impact on Penn State and the football program, beginning with Bob and Virginia Higgins nearly 100 years ago. Larry, Paul and Matt Suhey, and sons Kevin and Joe, have been great football student-athletes and ambassadors for the Penn State and the State College communities. The Suhey-Higgins family is in the thoughts and prayers of all Penn Staters.”

--Jake Kaplan

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About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 30 years, covering covering Penn State football, Villanova basketball and other college sports, along with golf and the Penn Relays. This is his seventh season on The Inquirer’s Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976-84.

Joining Joe this season is Erin McCarthy, an intern for The Inquirer and a junior at Penn State majoring in print and digital journalism. This is Erin's first season on the Penn State football beat. She previously spent two summers as an Inquirer summer intern on the Pennsylvania and South Jersey desks. She is also an editor for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A Delaware County native, Erin graduated from Episcopal Academy.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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