School 22
Official Obituary of

Alan S. Zajdel

November 10, 1950 ~ March 15, 2024 (age 73) 73 Years Old

Alan Zajdel Obituary

Alan Stephen Zajdel, 73, passed away on March 15, 2024.  Born November 10, 1950, in Altoona. He was the son of John and Catherine (Barnish) Zajdel. Preceded in death by his father, mother, and brothers, Casimir, and Thomas, he is survived by his cousin, James (Mary) Kozak, nephews Jeff, and Philip, and niece Michelle, and sister-in-law Bonnie Zajdel. A lifelong resident on the family property in Lilly, PA, Alan graduated from then Saint Francis College/University in 1972, with a degree in English and a Secondary Ed certification in Comprehensive English 7-12.  After taking three Theatre courses with Kenny Resinski, upon graduation he attended Villanova University and earned a Master’s Degree in Theatre. From 1976-1979, he taught English and directed theatre productions at Winder-Barrow County School in Georgia.  Returning to Pennsylvania, he taught at Mount Aloysius and Tussey Mountain School District.  In 1982, Alan began his tenure as an English teacher at Forest Hills School District.  Starting as a substitute, he took over the directorship of the school’s play on a “see if I can do it” basis.  During his time at Forest Hills, he directed students in 10 plays and 11 musicals.  He counted “Pete’s Feat” based on Peter Pan as his most creative production and musicals, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as his favorite musical. “Zaj”, as his students called him, taught almost 4,000 students during his time at Forest Hills.  His students liked the memoir and anecdote writing projects which focused on family Christmas traditions, and biographical sketches of grandparents’ experiences. Alan felt that even more than exercises in writing and “grammar galore”, these anecdotes brought the generations together. Coupled with his Forest Hills work, Alan acted in 50 plus shows under the direction of Kenny Resinski at Cresson Lake Play house and Saint Francis College/University.  His counts Scrooge in the 1982 CLP’s” A Christmas Carol” and in the 1994 Saint Francis production of “Bloody Jack,” a Detective who was not very good at his job.” as his favorite on stage roles. Alan was a member of the Tau Delta Cast of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Honor Theatre Society.  In 2018, Alan initiated an effort among his Forest Hills friends and alumni to raise funds for a “Green Room.”  As part of the new Resinski Black Box Theatre at Saint Francis University, the Green Room would be a gathering place for actors before they go onstage. In Alan’s words, the Green Room would be named in “honor of students who represented their school, making it the best opportunity any teacher would have…to teach wonderful students over a span of 30 years, and to have given him the daily joy of coming into the classroom. A Celebration of Life is planned for Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 2-4pm in the Resinski Black Box Theatre on the Saint Francis University Campus at 181 St. Catherine’s Street, Loretto PA   15940. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to be made in Alan’s name at Saint Francis University c/o The Office of Advancement P.O. Box 600 Loretto, PA. The Zajdel family is being served by the Serenko-Claar Funeral Home, PC, Portage.

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Celebration of Life
April 27, 2024

2:00 PM
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

Please note
Resinski Black Box Theatre on the Saint Francis University Campus at 181 St. Catherine’s Street, Loretto PA

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