BALTIMORE - Longtime Loyola University Maryland athletics employee Val Szczepaniak, passed away Monday, Dec. 7, after a brief illness.
Szczepaniak, who was 72, began working at Loyola on men's and women's basketball gamedays in 2000, and he became a full-time member of the facilities and operations staff in the spring of 2008.
"Val had an incredibly kind heart and was a friend to all who passed through Loyola athletics, coaches, administrators, staff and student-athletes alike," said Jim Paquette, Loyola's assistant vice president and director of athletics. "Val was a great colleague, one of Loyola's biggest fans and a tremendous ambassadors of the Greyhounds. We mourn for his family and friends, but we will remember Val's friendship and loyalty to Loyola."
Teddi Burns, Loyola's associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator, remembers Szczepaniak's service to the Greyhounds, "Val was one of the nicest people I knew. Over the many years I worked with Val, we have received countless e-mails and calls from coaches, teams, fans and students praising and thanking Val for his hospitality, friendliness, kindness and his help when they met him. He was a genuine person who truly loved working at Loyola and the people he met along the way. We will miss him at our weekly staff meetings where he always had a story to share about his adventures and misadventures with friends, family and Loyola."
The Baltimore native coordinated the setup of several Greyhounds sports and traveled with the men's lacrosse team.
"I firmly believe our program's success is due in part to the character of people like Val who have supported us, been steady through the good times and bad and given their time and energy to help our team become what it is now," said Charley Toomey, the Greyhounds' head men's lacrosse coach. "Val was one of the nicest people whom I have had the opportunity to work with at Loyola or anywhere. He always had a story, a joke or a trivia question for the coaches and student-athletes on every trip or at practice. We want our program to stand for everything that a gentleman like Val stood for."
Szczepaniak is survived by his wife Aggie; son, Greg, '93, and his wife, Beth Ann , M.Ed. '15; and daughter, Lauren Szczepaniak LaPointe, '97, M.S. '05, and her husband, Bob, '96, M.S. '01; and four grandchildren.
The family will receive guests at Ruck Funeral Home (1050 York Road; Towson, MD 21204; 410-823-1700) on Friday, Dec. 11, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m., at St. Michael the Archangel (10 Willow Ave.; Overlea, MD 21206; 410-665-1054) with Loyola's Fr. Timothy Brown, S.J., presiding.