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Alex Fanok, Jr.

Company C, 702nd Tank Battalion

 

 

The following email just came in, and I will quote it without further comment.  It speaks very well for itself.  "Two short weeks ago, Alex Fanok Jr. from Broomall Pa. passed away on August 26th, 2004.  He was 86 years old.  A member of The 702nd Tank Battalion.  Fate brought me to him in a strange yet interesting fashion.  I had driven past his home for 12 years meaning to stop and ask about a car in his driveway.  I had one a while ago.  I finally did stop and his wife came to the door.  We spoke and she wished I would take that car and another in the garage away but her husband loved them and would never let them go!  We chatted for a few more minutes and I gave her my information.  The next day, Al Called and said he wanted to meet me but did not want to sell the cars!  I asked, why??  He said his wife felt that I was the first guy she had ever met who she felt just might be able to out talk him!!  We got together and became fast friends.  Alex was a man who had accomplished much in his life and I admired and looked up to him.  I lost my father some 12 years ago and he was like a surrogate replacement.  Alex would come to my home and work in the garage and hang out with the Guys again.  Always telling tales of the war or his many experiences throughout life.  I would go to his home and visit almost daily.  I helped he and his wife around the house as time had caught up with them and was winning!

 

Alex also fell in love with my 6-year-old son who called him a Step grand pop.  Alex was a musician and was teaching my son how to read music and listen for notes in songs.  I had a WW2 veteran by the name of Joe Degenova; bring his wife to me as a client.  When he told me he was in the War, I put him on the phone with Alex.  They met at my house a week later, and had a grand time.  I also took him in June to meet another veteran, "Brinkus" who he had not seen since Germany in 1944!   It gave me a great feeling to drive him down to the city for this 1-hour reunion.  On the 4th of July, I took him to a picnic my friend was having honoring his brother, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps who had just come home from Iraq for some R & R.  Alex was able to catch up on what a war is like today, and the Marine was fascinated with WW2 and has traveled the path on his own free time and visited the cities that were involved.  I also took him to a car show and the gym I belong to.  Al was an avid weight lifter and the gym owner is a World Strong Man competitor, so he had a great visit that day as well.  Sadly, He had a stroke and lasted three days.  I visited twice as the last day he was incoherent.

 

He was with it until the end of the visit, he asked me to help him get these "Boots" off his feet.  I assisted his wife and daughter with the funeral arrangements and contacted Joe Degenova who assisted in alerting the VFW.  Joe DeGenova came to the Funeral and Joe Opiary, a member of the 702nd who lives in town and was a friend to Alex also was there.  I was moved to tears at the funeral home as the aging veterans approached and read aloud their farewell.  As we pulled up to the gravesite, I saw a group of vets stand at attention and salute Alex's casket as we carried him to the final resting place.  The gun in the soil with the helmet bearing his name rang true his service to God and country.  As the Bugler played Taps and the 21 Gun Salute was fired, I again was overwhelmed with emotion.  He was so proud of his service and it was nice to see the gratitude returned.  They gave his wife the flag and my son received a shell from one of the gunners.  We are still assisting his wife and daughter around the house and miss him dearly.  We had a great friendship.  I will never forget, even though it was only 6-7 months long.  I will stop by the web site from time to time to study about my friend, Alex Fanok Jr.-- David Winkler

 

 

Dalton & Alex Pose With A Cobra

 

 

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