Passed away on June 15, 2021 at age 89. Yakov was born in Village Ploskoye, Smolenskiy Region, Russia to his parents, Klara Kalmanovna Afanasyeva (nee Khasidovich) 1915-1942 and Semyon Afanasyev 1912-date of death unknown. Yakov was an only child. He married, Etya Yakovlevna Afanasyeva (nee Gokhfeld). He is also survived by his children, Igor Afanasyev who lives in Russia and daughter Irina Afanasyeva in California, several grandchildren both in Russia and California
Yakov worked in construction in Kiev Ukraine.
His father was called up to the front in the first days of WWII and killed soon thereafter. Yakov then age 9, his mother, and two other Jewish families from their village were taken to a ghetto in Gzhatsk, but were able to escape several months later.
In their home village miles away, Yakov’s mother was able to secure a hiding place for him in the potato cellar of a kind non-Jewish neighbor, Anastasiya Grigoryeva. Unfortunately, Anastasiya could not hide both of them, and after that Yakov did not see his mother again. When the Germans periodically searched for hidden Jews and partisans, Yakov slept in the forest alone to protect his benefactor, and that’s how he found out that the Gzhatsk ghetto was liquidated. After WWII he continued to live with his benefactor until 1947 as he had no one left in the world.
Graveside Services will be held on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 1 PM in Mt. Hope Cemetery. For those who wish to stream the service, please CLICK HERE just before 1 PM to watch the service as it takes place.