John J. Hafenecker

WATERVILLE – John J. Hafenecker, 91, went to be with his Savior today after a long  battle with Dementia while being wonderfully cared for in the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta for the last month.

John was a graduate of Winslow in 1946 and a brilliant baseball and athletic career. After his senior year he was selected to play in a New England high school All Star baseball game in Boston. He played three summers of semi-pro baseball in Nova Scotia before signing a contract with the NY Giants in 1950. He played one season in the Florida State League before spending two years in the Army while he served in the Korean War and played baseball in Europe with other professional players. After the service he played two more seasons with the Giants farm system in Danville, Va. and Nashville, Tenn. with a short stay in Iowa. John was a gifted center fielder and hit over 300 every season but played behind another great fielder, Willy Mays.

After he retired from Pro ball in 1954, he went to work for the Waterville Boys Club and was the Athletics Director for about 11 years. From there he went on to become a top salesman for Furbush/Frame Chevrolet In Waterville, then for Central Maine Motors. He finally retired at the age of 84 as a Courtesy driver from which he thoroughly enjoyed being able to meet and talk to people every day. He never met a stranger and was such a tease. Always trying to make people laugh. He attended Getchell Street Baptist Church of Waterville where he loved serving with the social committee working in the kitchen. He loved to cook and grill out at home but always had a knack for burning everything. In his years following his baseball career he also enjoyed playing softball at local fields.

He is survived by his only younger sister Beatrice Hafenecker of Winslow; his loving wife Lorice Nickless Hafenecker of Waterville for almost 89 years; his three surviving children John G. Hafenecker of  Aurora, Colo., Cheryl Daly and her husband Tom of Waterville, Leslie Dolan and her husband Patrick of Madison, and a deceased son Kyle F. Hafenecker. He is also remembered by his 16 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.

Due to the Corona virus we will be having a celebration of life later this summer. He will be taken care of by Gallant Funeral Home in Waterville. An online guestbook may be signed, condolences and memories shared at www.gallantfh.com  and will be buried at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta.

We would like to pass along a huge thank you to all the nursing and staff at this facility who took great care of John for the last month of his life. They are very compassionate and loving to the veterans for whom they care for. They were truly a blessing through his passing.

In lieu of flowers,

donations can be made in remembrance of him to:

Maine Veterans

Home Augusta

310 Cony Rd.

Augusta, ME 04330

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