Reasy left his mark on Penn State Altoona

Locals are mourning the recent loss of a long-standing Altoona resident and Penn State University community member.

Joseph W. Reasy Jr., 71, died Feb. 1 at UPMC Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh after experiencing a stroke.

“Everyone loved Joe,” said JP Richardella, a former employee of Reasy’s, characterizing him as down-to-earth and easy going. Richardella called Reasy’s passing “a loss for the community.”

Reasy graduated from Hollidaysburg High School in 1964 and from Penn State University. He served in the U.S. Army before working at Penn State Altoona as the director of development from the 1970s until 2003.

Rex Kaup said Reasy was a spirited PSU Altoona employee, dedicating much of his time planning trips for alumni and fundraising activities for the university.

“He was totally a part of Penn State Altoona for most of his adult life and was the main person in bringing the Altoona Campus Penn State Alumni Society into the forefront of the commonwealth campuses,” Kaup, a friend of Reasy, wrote in an email. “He was instrumental in recruiting several of us that had attended PSU to get involved in the society and help organize various fundraising activities.”

Reasy was also part of the PSU Altoona Advisory Board, the capital fundraising organization for the university.

“Joe was involved in raising monies for many of the construction projects that happened at the campus during his employment,” Kaup said. “To provide funds for this board, Joe started the annual Penn State Altoona golf outing, which is continued today by the alumni society.”

During his more than 25 years at PSU, Reasy worked 10 of those years with Richardella, hiring her as a staff assistant in 1993.

According to Richardella, Reasy spearheaded the partnership between Penn State Altoona and its sister city, St. Polten, Austria.

He also served as an adviser for the Lion Ambassadors — students who give tours of PSU — and took them on overnight retreats to places like Stone Valley or his hunting camp in Petersburg.

Beverly Crabtree, Reasy’s staff assistant for 22 years, said he was a “marvelous” and “accommodating” boss. When Crabtree’s son was suffering from paralysis in the lower half of his body, Reasy gave Crabtree the time off she needed to care for her son.

Crabtree added she regrets not keeping in touch with Reasy after her retirement from PSU and expressed thanks to Reasy for being a great person in her life.

Reasy is survived by his father, Joseph W. Reasy Sr. of Hollidaysburg; his sister, Cathy Neal of Altoona; and his nephew, Nicholas Neal of Phoenix, Ariz.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 17 at The Good Funeral Home Inc.

Mirror Staff Writer Shen Wu Tan is at 946-7457.