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Peter Yuhas Sr., draftsman, top softball pitcher

June 29, 1930 – June 15, 2016

Peter Yuhas Sr., of the Town of Tonawanda, a retired civil draftsman and a standout softball pitcher for more than four decades, died June 15 in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was 85.

Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the youngest of 10 children, he began pitching as a teen for his older brothers’ teams. He was a four-letter varsity athlete in high school.

He served in the Air Force in the Korean War and at the end of his enlistment pitched for an Air Force exhibition baseball team at bases around the world.

Returning from service, he came to Buffalo, where his oldest sister lived, to look for work and was hired at Linde Air Products as a draftsman so he could pitch for the corporate softball team.

After taking drafting courses at Buffalo Technical School, he became a civil draftsman for the Army Corps of Engineers, where he worked on projects that included the dewatering of Niagara Falls.

He retired in 1992 from BAC Killam Civil Engineers.

Mr. Yuhas played in numerous softball leagues in the area, often pitching four nights a week. He never played in an old-timers league.

When he was 62, playing on team where the average age was 29, he threw a three-hitter to win the championship in the Tonawanda Men’s Fast Pitch League.

He was elected to the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame in 2008.

He also was an excellent bowler and golfer.

He also coached the varsity hockey team at Hutchinson-Central Technical High School from 1975 to 1981 and was active in the Buffalo High Schools Explorer Hockey League.

He was a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Marguerite H. Pracitto; a son, Peter Jr.; two daughters, Susan Marie Hasan and Cheryl Ann Buck; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Saturday in St. Timothy’s Catholic Church, 565 East Park Drive, Town of Tonawanda.

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