The Arkansas State University campus is in mourning after the loss of Wendy Anderson, Arkansas State University head coach Blake Anderson’s wife. She passed away Tuesday (Aug. 20), according to her husband.
She had battled cancer for the last two years. She died in the early morning hours and her husband was reportedly with his wife in her final moments. He has taken a leave of absence from his team.
“My beautiful girl has gone home to be with Jesus. No more pain, no more suffering and praise Him no more cancer. She passed as peacefully & gracefully as you could ever hope. … I have been so blessed to have her by my side each day for the past 27 years,” Blake Anderson posted on his twitter account.
ASU-Jonesboro Chancellor Kelly Damphousse was among many who took the news hard.
“On behalf of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Arkansas State University, today we remember the valiant struggle of Wendy Anderson, and keep Blake and the Anderson family in our thoughts and prayers. We have seen the highs when Wendy briefly was declared cancer free, and watched her bravely face the profound challenge of cancer’s return. Cancer is a disease that can rob us of our loved ones, of our bodies, but for Wendy, we know that it never touched her soul.
“I pray peace and rest to Blake and their family as they prepare for the difficult days ahead. I pray that the great memories of their time with Wendy outweigh the heartache they are feeling today. Wendy lived her life in victory. I have asked that our university flag be lowered on campus to half-staff today, and tonight, we will celebrate the victory of her life by lighting the Arkansas State University Library clock tower red. Please join with all of us as we lift up the Andersons.”
ASU System President Chuck Welch also mourned her passing.
“We’re heartbroken for Blake and his family. Wendy fought so courageously the past two years, and the ASU System family will miss her greatly. I know the Anderson family’s faith will help them through this difficult time, and we will continue to support Blake any way we can. We all appreciate the outpouring of concern and sympathy from our colleagues throughout the country.”
Anderson was hired as the school’s 30th football coach in December 2013. During his six year tenure, ASU has a 39-25 record (.609 winning percentage) and has a bowl win. He has led the Red Wolves to multiple conference championships and he is the only coach in school history to win 32 games during his first five seasons with the program.