Yasinski, Frank Michael
Frank Michael Yasinski, age 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 20, 2017 after a brief illness. His loving wife of many years, Anna Jane, preceded him in death. Frank was born on December 3, 1923 in Stottville, New York to Mary and Walter Yasinski who were Polish immigrants. He was the sixth of seven children. During World War II Frank enlisted in the Third U.S. Army, 35th Infantry Division, 60th Combat Engineers. He was very proud to have served under General George S. Patton from February 1943 to November 1945. Private First Class Yasinski was stationed throughout Normandy, Northern France, and Rhineland. He did engineering work to maintain roads and bridges, cleared land mines, and supported front line troops. On August 8, 1944 in Northern France Frank's squad was repairing a road when they were captured by Nazis who had broken through the American lines. After almost a month long journey by truck and train, confined with little food or water, he arrived at the Stalag 3C Prisoner of War Camp near Berlin, Germany. Toward the end of WWII in Europe, Stalag 3C was liberated by Russian soldiers. Frank struggled for weeks across war-torn Germany until finally reaching the Port of Odessa on the Black Sea. There, a British ship took him to Naples, Italy where he was reunited with American troops and hospitalized. After over a year without any news, his family was finally notified that Frank had survived his captivity. For his service, Private First Class Frank Yasinski was awarded the POW Medal; 3 Bronze Stars; WW II Victory Medal; Good Conduct Medal; and the Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal. After the war, Frank took advantage of the GI Bill to attend Syracuse University in New York State. He graduated with a Master's Degree in Entomology and was hired by the U.S. Forrest Service. Frank worked his whole life as a forester, protecting and rehabilitating damaged forests throughout Georgia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Northern Texas. After retiring, he moved from Marietta, Georgia to Mesa, Arizona to be closer to family. In September 2016 Private First Class Frank Yasinski, along with other WWII veterans, was honored at a special ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of WWII held at the Gilbert Town Hall Civic Center. As part of this tribute, Frank recounted his wartime experiences as a soldier and POW. His interview was recorded and will be part of the living history exhibit at the Welcome Home Veterans Park being built in Gilbert, AZ and scheduled to open on Veterans Day in 2017. Frank Yasinski is survived by his younger brother, Edward, in New York, and his daughters Janet Nicklas and Kellie Yasinski, in Arizona, and Leslie Dukes, in Georgia. His grandchildren include Toni Keberlein, Tanya Hunt, and Jahmal Graves in Arizona, and eleven great-grand children. Frank's life will be celebrated by family and friends at a visitation held at the Lakeshore Mortuary, 1815 South Dobson Road, Mesa, AZ 85202 on January 25, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 in the evening. Private First Class Frank Yasinski, Third U.S. Army, 35th Infantry Division, 60th Combat Engineers under General George S. Patton, will be buried with full military honors at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 North Cave Creek Road, Phoenix, AZ 85024 on January 26, 2017 at 12:30 in the afternoon.