The Obit For Max Afanesko

Max Afanesko

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on March 18, 2012

Max Afanesko, 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 Minor League.

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 Afanesko.

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, Cecil.