Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 18, 2012
88, of West Deer Twp., passed from this life March 16, 2012, surrounded
by his family at his residence. Born August 20, 1923 in Curtisville, and
has lived in West Deer Twp. all of his life.
Max enjoyed playing baseball, playing for the 1939 PA All-State Champion
Team from the American Legion. In 1945, Coach Malcolm named him in his
lineup of "Greatest Players" for playing right field from 1939
through 1941. He graduated from Etna High School in 1942. After leaving
high school, Max joined the Minor League Baseball system, playing in AA
Because of the War, in 1943, Max left the Minor Leagues and joined the
Army serving his country as a member of Company C, 272 Infantry Division
of the Fighting 69th as a Staff Sergeant. Max was chosen by General Hodges
to serve as an interpreter between the American First Army and Russian
forces at the historic meeting of the Allies. At Elbe River, he crossed
enemy lines freeing 100 US POWs. He received the EAME Campaign Medal,
American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and WWII Victory Medal.
Returning from the service, he went to school at IUP, graduating with
a BA in teaching. During his college career, he played football, playing
both defense and offense, and lettering in 3 sports, and also was a member
of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. In 1967, he received his Masters from
Syracuse University. Max taught at Apollo Ridge High School, teaching
Civics, American History, World Culture, Problems of Democracy, and Geography.
He also was the baseball and football coach from 1953 through 1957, and
retiring in 1988 after a 35 year career in teaching.
Survivors include his wife, Lucy Alice (Kundus) Afanesko; his son, James
Afanesko of California; his daughters, Sandy Afanesko of Frazer, and Susan
(Tom) Kardos of Franklin Park, and his granddaughter, Lauren Kardos. Preceded
in death by his parents, Prokor and Tekla (Consweya) Afanesko; his brothers,
Nicholas and Anthony Afanesko and his sisters, Dorothy McCoy and Mary
Family will receive friends Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. in the SIWICKI-
YANICKO FUNERAL HOME, 23 McKrell Road, Russellton, West Deer Twp. The
family invites all wishing to attend the burial and full military honors
services to meet them Tuesday 1 p.m. at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies,