Dateline: Ballston Lake, NY
Galen A. Pryzbek, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 12th, at Saratoga Hospital, after a courageous battle with MSA- Multiple System Atrophy, an aggressive form of Parkinson’s. Galen was born on June 18, 1954, in Newark, NJ, and was the son of the late Henry and Loretta (Stojny) Pryzbek.
Galen is survived by his loving wife Jennifer L. Pryzbek; his son Max Pryzbek; his only daughter Lindsey (the late Marco) Goodwin and his oldest son Kyle (Ashley) Pryzbek; as well his grandchildren Alex Newhall, Charlotte Pryzbek, and Olivia Pryzbek who affectionately knew him as Grumpa. Galen is also survived by his siblings, Leslie (the late Chuck) Craig, Russell (Marie) Pryzbek, April Pryzbek, Josh (Dawn) Pryzbek and Faith (George) Pappas and his ex-wife Sue (Bob) Broen.
Galen grew up in West Hartford, CT but relocated to Atlanta, GA where he had lived for 17 years. It was Atlanta where he had met his “Bride”, Jennifer. He always referred to Jennifer as “My Bride”, even decades into their lives together. They married on May 20, 2001 in Saratoga, NY and returned to Atlanta to resume their lives but were missing their families up North. The two finally ventured back to Upstate NY after the birth of their son Max. Saratoga is where Galen fell in love with the equestrian lifestyle and became infamous for betting the ponies.
Galen thrived in his work as an IT Network Specialist, most recently with Living Resources in Albany, NY and looked forward to going to work every day. He so wanted to be a part of something that was doing good for others. He enjoyed making his coworkers laugh probably more than he enjoyed the work. Galen worked for Towers Perrin, USF&G Insurance where he met Jennifer and EDS Electronic Data Systems where he once had lunch with Ross Perot.
Galen had the best sense of humor that he shared with his daughter Lindsey, often traveling to see various comedians on tour. They loved to laugh together and each a wild sense of humor that was truly infectious. Watching them enjoy a great comedian was a true sport.
Galen could remember every one liner or punch line from every show he had seen. Many of which became part of everyday conversation between Lindsey and Kyle such as .. “ He pissed it all away” from the movie Let It Ride. If you have ever enjoyed Saratoga Race Track and have an affection for 80’s movies then you should check it out.
Galen held an immense love for golf all throughout his life which he shared with his son Kyle and later with his son Max and grandson Alex. After several trips to the Masters Tournament in Augusta, GA, including the day before Max was born, he still yearned to visit Pebble Beach Golf Course in California. In his opinion it’s one of the most beautiful courses in the country and one day we will get him there.
Galen spent every fall weekend watching football and passed that tradition down to Max with the intent to watch the two most important games of the week….. the Michigan Wolverines and the Cleveland Browns with a shout out to the New York Giants. The love for each team had been passed down to Galen from his father, aka Pop and now it was something Galen could share with Max. They both waited a very long time to see the Browns win a playoff game but the day finally arrived in 2020. It wasn’t much longer until 2021 when Michigan finally beat Ohio State and took home the Big 10 Championship for the first time in Max’s lifetime. GO BLUE, Baby, as Galen would yell. They would laugh, cry and yell at the television until the final whistle.
If you knew Galen you knew his love for an exciting Super Bowl pool as well as the thrill of March Madness. The season was never complete without Galen offering you the option to join one of his multiple pools. Every Super Bowl he sat in front of the TV with 3-4 sheets of squares and watched the game with great intensity, keeping track of each changing score. He was methodical with his pools and he truly enjoyed handing out the winning envelopes as if it was Christmas day and he was Santa.
This leads us into Galen’s summer sport which was horse racing. I think it may have been the only way that Jennifer got Galen to move to NY was the introduction of the Saratoga Race track. He was instantly caught up in all things Saratoga. Many of the staffers at the track knew Galen by name. He enjoyed the ambiance that Saratoga had created, from spending the afternoon at the picnic table surrounded by family and friends, sharing his tips on jockeys and trainers as well as going to the rail to see the beauty of the horses up close. While he had to face many challenges to get anywhere in the last few months he was able to get the track on a few occasions and it could not have been any more special. So a special thank you to those that helped make it happen. It was his happy place and he enjoyed sharing it with those he loved.
Galen was a gentle soul with a heart of gold that only wanted to make others smile and feel included. He had this silent charisma about him that persevered even when Galen lost his voice. His ability to put you at ease and bring a smile to your face even on the toughest of days. He adhered to the ideas of not stressing about trivial matters and following your own path regardless of what others may think. He was the ultimate wordsmith that led to multiple publications in local newspapers, including an opinion article in Maxim Golf. He would have been the one we leaned on to write his story. We shall miss his tender heart, his quick wit, his ability to make an entrance as well as an Irish exit and his smile that could light up a room.
A Celebration of Life for Galen will be held October 7th, 2023, at the Halfmoon-Waterford Firehouse, 315 Middletown Road, Waterford, NY from 1pm to 5pm.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation made to a charity of your choice in memory of Galen or the Multiple System Atrophy Coalition at www.multiplesystematrophy.org.