We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Gibbons Funeral Home
Jeffrey David Szpala, 43 a proud veteran of the Army; Company C2/112th Infantry, Bellefonte, passed away November 28th, 2021 at his home. Born April 4, 1978 in Altoona the son of Ronald and Nancy (DelGrande) Szpala. Preceded in death by a brother Michael on December 28, 2014. Survived by his children, Ryan, Zach, Kyle, Carter, and Quinn, his fiancé Tara Benson, his parents, brothers and sisters, Patricia (Ron) Biter, Rhonda Simanski (Royce Peck), Lannette (Murray Fetzer), Ronald Jr. (Kimberly), Maureen (Ted) Jones, Adam (Jen), Joy (Chuck) Gill, Matthew and partner John Shirk, sister-in-law, Jennifer Szpala, numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, Julie Clossin, and Traci Eckenrode. Jeffrey had a very special and unique bond with his children, many nieces and nephews who adored and respected him dearly. Jeffrey’s siblings often referred to him as their gentle giant that would do anything for anyone, he enjoyed telling jokes and playing pranks on them. He had a way of convincing people to do anything, even a sister who he accompanied to a local gas station to have the winter air in her tires changed to spring air. His nephew Corey Gill eloquently summed up a quote about his Uncle Jeffrey’s character “I’d give you my last and not even tell you it’s all I had! That is how solid I am, 100 percent.” Author Unknown.
He was a 1996 graduate of Penn Cambria Highschool, a graduate of the Police Academy and a graduate of Norfolk Southern Railroad Engineer program. Jeffrey provided many years a community service as a police officer for Gallitzin, Cresson, Duncansville Boroughs, Cresson Twp., and St. Francis University. In addition, at the age of 22, Jeffrey enlisted in the army. He valued his 10 plus years of service highly and attained the rank of Specialist E-4. As part of his service, he earned numerous medals and honors; National Defense Service medal, Global War on Terrorism Service medal, Iraq Campaign medal with the Campaign Star, Army Service medal, and was considered a distinguished sharp shooter. He served many tours in Iraq, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Jeffrey always considered his army platoon and veterans his eternal brothers. Special thanks to Jeffrey’s fellow platoon brothers, veterans, Bob Bastian and Ronni Green for their service and assistance.
A service honoring the life of Jeffrey Szpala will be received from 4 to 8 pm Thursday at Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church Street, Gallitzin where a vigil service will be held Thursday. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 am Friday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Cresson the Rev. Leo Arnone celebrant. Committal St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. Military Rites by Sankertown VFW, Cresson American Legion and other local military organizations.
The family suggest donations be made to Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church Street, Gallitzin, PA 16641 to help with funeral expenses. gibbonsfunerals.com