JONESBORO, Ark. (KFSM) — Wendy Anderson, wife of Arkansas State Head Football Coach Blake Anderson, has died after a long battle with cancer.
Her death was announced by her husband on Twitter early Tuesday morning (Aug. 20). Wendy died shortly before midnight on Monday, Blake Anderson said.
"She passed as peacefully & gracefully as you could ever hope just a few minutes before midnight with me laying right beside her," he said. "I have been so blessed to have her by my side each day for the past 27 years."
The news comes a day after Blake Anderson announced he would be taking a leave of absence to be with his wife, who was battling Stage 4 Triple Negative breast cancer. She was diagnosed last year, but the cancer had "metastasized into the lymph nodes, liver, and most significantly in the lungs," the coach said on Twitter.
Wendy Anderson went through surgery to remove two of five tumors and chemotherapy to shrink the last three, which seemed to be working in early June. But the last couple of months have been "tough," the coach told our Little Rock affiliate THV11.
Condolences poured in through Twitter early Tuesday.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Blake Anderson, his wife Wendy and their entire family during this difficult time," said a Tweet from the Arkansas Razorback Football page.
"Paula and I cannot express our condolences enough to Coach Anderson and his entire family. To say our thoughts are with you is an understatement. Thank you for being an example of light in a moment of darkness," Hogs Coach Chad Morris said, concluding with the hashtag that has been the rallying cry for the Andersons, #NotFightingAlone.
"She impacted so many lives, including mine," said Arkansas State quarterback Logan Bonner. "May she rest in peace with God. We love you coach! This season is for her," he said.
"Deeply saddened to hear of Wendy Anderson’s passing. May God welcome her into His loving embrace and give comfort to Coach Anderson and his family," Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted.
A memorial service honoring the life of Wendy will be held this Friday (Aug. 23) at 11 a.m. at Central Baptist Church on Harrisburg Road in Jonesboro.
Additional details regarding the service, which will be streamed live online by Central Baptist Church, will be available at a later time on CentralBaptist.com. There will be no visitation or viewing period. Wendy will be laid to rest in Hubbard, Texas, with the Anderson family.
In the spirit of Wendy’s love for helping children, donations in her name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are encouraged by the Anderson family in lieu of flowers.