Alex J. Szabo
Commander Alex Julius Szabo (USN, Retired), father, aviator, veteran and entrepreneur, passed from this life on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, at his home in San Antonio, Texas. He was 82 years old.
Alex was born on Nov. 13, 1937, in Miller Heights Township, Bethlehem, Pa., to Julius Szabo and Julia Elizabeth Polgar Szabo.
He attended Bethlehem High School and graduated from Moravian College in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in economics and business administration. On Aug. 25, 1962, he married Rozella Louise Byrd at the Naval Air Station Chapel in Pensacola, Fla.
He entered the U.S. Navy in 1960 and trained as an aviator. While assigned to Naval Air Transport Squadron 3 at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, he flew one of the planes in Operation Dominic, the last above-ground testing of nuclear bombs. He later served two years “on the ice” in Navy Squadron VX-6 at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, as part of Operation Deep Freeze. Szabo Bluff in the Queen Maud Mountains in Antarctica was named after him. Alex also flew C-130 cargo planes into combat zones during the Vietnam War. He finished his military career in the Reserves at squadrons out of NAS Dallas, Glenview NAS Chicago and finally NAS New Orleans.
In civilian life, Alex flew for Braniff Airlines, mainly flying to South America. He was also on the crew of the Concorde during its time in the U.S., one of the few U.S. pilots granted that honor.
He completed his flying career at United Parcel Service, working as a pilot supervisor in Louisville, Ky. During his time in the Louisville area, living in the small town of Lanesville, Ind.,
Alex was an active member of the Lions Club and served on the town council of Lanesville for several years.
After his retirement, he and his wife enjoyed traveling in their Airstream trailer, having adventures all over the U.S. and Mexico. They settled in San Antonio, Texas, to be closer to their grandchildren. Alex enjoyed travel, old cars and airplanes and was a keen bridge player.
He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Rozella, and their two children, Maria Louise Gilson (Robert) of Olathe, Kan., and Alex Jeffrey Szabo (Christie) of Helotes, Texas, as well as their two grandchildren, Emma and Kaitlin Szabo.
He is predeceased by his parents, Julius and Julia Szabo, and his sister, Helen Kranitz.