Wendy Anderson, the late wife of Arkansas State Red Wolves football coach Blake Anderson, was a self-described “Christ follower” and “dyslexic advocate” whose husband gushed about her on social media.
She was also a mother of three, who posted a photo showing her with her husband and children in matching plaid shirts. “Hm, cancer I don’t have time for you, so we’re going to get this knocked out. Cancer was not beating me,” Wendy Anderson said in a profile to the Arkansas State University Herald.
The cause of death was cancer. Wendy Anderson, who was 49-years-old, died of breast cancer after a two-year battle. Her husband announced her death on his Twitter page. “…there’s a celebration in heaven today cause Wendy is Home,” he wrote, including multiple hearts with the tweet.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wendy Died With Her Husband at Her Side
Blake Anderson posted a moving tribute to Wendy on his Twitter page, explaining that she was surrounded by love in her final moments.
“My beautiful girl has gone home to be with Jesus,” he wrote. “No more pain, no more suffering, and praise Him no more cancer. She passed as peacefully & gracefully as you could ever hope just a few minutes before midnight with me laying right beside her.”
He then mentioned the couple’s decades together.
“I have been so blessed to have her by my side each day for the past 27 eyars,” Blake wrote. “Thank you so much to all who have walked, prayed, cried, and loved her through this brutal 2 year battle…Praise Him that she hurts no more, and is in His presence now & forever.”
In one previous heartbreaking post, he explained that the doctors had spotted five tumors in Wendy’s brain. “Trul trusting in Him every step,” he wrote.
2. Wendy’s Dream Was to See Her Children Graduate & Get Married
The couple had three children together. According to Blake’s Twitter page, he is: “Believer in Christ, Husband to Wendy, Father to Coleton, Callie, & Cason. HEAD FOOTBALL COACH – ARKANSAS STATE 2011-2012-2013-2015 & 2016 Sun Belt Champions.”
In 2018, Blake posted a birthday tribute to Cason revealing that the boy had just turned 18. The children are two sons and a daughter. Heartbreakingly, Wendy once told the Herald, “For me quitting or giving up was never really an option. I knew I had so much more to live for. I’m going to see my kids graduate and I’m going to see my kids married and I will play with my grandbabies.”
According to AL.com, Wendy was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2017.
3. Blake Called Wendy ‘the Most Amazing Person I’ve Ever Known’
On her birthday a few days before she died, Blake Anderson praised his wife in a tweet. “PLEASE help me wish a BIG Happy Birthday to my best friend, my wife, & my love Wendy Leann Anderson… absolutely the toughness most amazing person I’ve ever known. So blessed to spend my life w you Babe,” he wrote.
In an anniversary tribute, he dubbed her his “best friend.” He also called her the “1st Lady of Football.” In 2017, he wrote, “BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my WAAAAAY better half Mama Wendy … love you more & more everyday !!!”
In 2016, she returned the favor, writing back to her husband, “Happy Anniversary to you too!!! Loved you then and Love you more now!!!”
4. Wendy Described Herself as a ‘Christ Follower’ & Dyslexic Advocate
On her Twitter page, Wendy described herself as “Wife, Mother of 3, Christ Follower, Dyslexic Avocate, Texas Born, and Now ASU Proud.”
She mostly retweeted stories and sayings about football and religion.
Wendy told the Herald she found the cancer by accident. “I got sun burnt and my bathing suit had slipped a little and I scratched. When I scratched, I said to myself that’s a lump and I initially thought it was a cyst because my mom had a couple of cyst in the past. I really wasn’t paranoid at that point,” she said. Wendy traveled to Mexico for experimental treatment, the newspaper reported.
5. Tributes Flowed in for Wendy Anderson
Many people offered tributes to Wendy Anderson. One of them was Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who said on Twitter: “The whole state shares your loss.”
Shortly before his wife died, Blake Anderson had said he was taking a leave of absence to be with his wife and family; the university library was turned pink in her memory.