Uncle Val Udell
Val Udell is an amazing guy. At age 92, Val is as sharp as a tack. Although he doesn't own a computer - he considers them to be potential time wasters - he drives several days a week to Pottstown Hospital where he volunteers - on a computer. You can tell from Val's home that he and nature are closely connected and he still leads nature walks.
Val was an educator for most of his career. The bottom right picture shows Val when he taught biology at Olney High School. By a stroke of luck, I avoided Val's classes; only one of us would have survived and it probably wouldn't have been me. He did not suffer classroom fools gladly.
I met the Udell brothers for the first time at their 90th birthday party, but in a way I’ve known them as long as I could read. You see, Gene and Val were in my mother’s Gratz High School graduating class, June 1934. Even as a little boy, I’d pore through her yearbook, looking at the silly mid-1930s hairdos and outfits. And I’d always come to the end of the seniors’ section where Gene and Val were listed, consecutively but on different pages, as if the editor wanted to ensure that neither twin’s achievements could be directly compared to those of his brother. I’m attaching those yearbook pages [Gene] [Val] to make a point.
Clearly, the Udell brothers were the cream of the June 1934 Gratz High School crop; Val was Class President and Gene was Student Association President. They went on to have fulfilling careers, but they were always part of SGF. They ran the camp, built the traditions and hired successors like Mel Drukin who continued to grow SGF. When SGF got the Udell brothers, we got the absolute best and there is a direct connection from Gene and Val to what we are trying to achieve today.
- Mark Blass, November 2008
The Many Faces of Val Udell - Hall of Fame Counselor and Co-Director