Chapter Eternal - Alex Gregal '54

We have been honored to call this man our Brother. The condolences of Theta Chi’s extended worldwide family are offered to the family and friends of our deceased brother.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of:

  • Alex A. Gregal ‘54 - Jan. 29, 2019

Alex Gregal ‘54 - LaVie Portrait

Alex Gregal ‘54 - LaVie Portrait

Alex Gregal - 1954 - The Nittany Lion, relaxing before Homecoming weekend festivities

Alex A. Gregal, 87, of State College, Pennsylvania, passed away surrounded by family on January 29, 2019 in Irvine, California. 

Alex was born on November 28, 1931 in Osceola Mills, PA, to Luby and Alexander (Pops) Gregal and grew up in Houtzdale, PA.

Alex graduated from Penn State University in 1954. While at PSU, he was president of the Theta Chi Fraternity Players Social Club, was a member of ROTC and made many friends and memories during his four years as the Nittany Lion mascot. 

Alex later earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Airforce, Air National Guard and U.S. Airforce Reserves. He bravely flew wounded and dead soldiers out of Vietnam, earning the National Defense Service Medal.

In civilian life, Alex was a corporate pilot, co-owned an airport in New Castle, PA called Castle Aviation, was a top seller for Beechcraft Aircraft, and eventually started his own aviation sales company, Fortune-Aire. 

Alex was the president of the Youngstown Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association for many years. He enjoyed fly fishing, gardening, making wine, watching Fox News, traveling in his motor home, tailgating with his family and friends at ALL the Penn State home games, martinis, and pretty much any good party he could find or inspire. 

Alex married the late Joan (Cestone) Gregal, and together they had three daughters. He later married the late Juanita (Holencik) Gregal. In addition to Joan, Juanita and his parents, Alex was preceded in death by his brothers, Frank and David; and sister, Carol. Alex is survived by his daughters, Carol (Dan) Howard, Elizabeth Gregal, and Allison (Scott) Novosel; sister, Anna Mae Reifer; brother, Michael Gregal; grandchildren, Alex Howard, Hannah Howard, Dominic Stephens, Ian Novosel, and Cooper Novosel; and many loving nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Services will be held in State College this spring. Following a memorial Mass, friends and family will be invited to a tailgate to celebrate Alex's life. Specifics will be shared on this site closer to the date.

Alex will later be buried alongside his loving wife of 26 years, Joan Gregal, at Poland Riverside Cemetery in Poland, Ohio. 

In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations in Alex Gregal's name to Catholic Charities and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

Roar Lion Roar!

Jack Horner (L) and Alex Gregal - 1953