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Dr. Anthony M. Yurchak, longtime allergist

Feb. 11, 1936 - May 10, 2017

Dr. Anthony M. Yurchak, who worked for over 40 years at Buffalo Amherst Allergy Associates as an allergist and immunologist, co-authored many research papers and lectured at local hospitals and the National Institutes of Health.

He was also a dedicated family man who took pleasure in publishing a family memoir for his children. Proud of his Slovak heritage, he enjoyed studying his family tree and was known to smother loved ones with articles and books he thought they would enjoy and new sets of aphorisms at Christmas.

"He was such a kind and faithful man to everyone who knew him that we used to actually call him 'Saint Anthony' as a nickname," said Elizabeth Callahan, his daughter. "He was very Catholic and took it in stride because he was a humble guy."

Dr. Yurchak was also passionate about medicine. Many patients saw him from childhood well into adulthood.

"A lot of people have recently told me that they knew my dad was not only a wonderful family man, but a very compassionate doctor as well," Callahan said.

Dr. Yurchak died on May 10 at the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care. He was 81.

He was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and later attended the University of Notre Dame on an Evans Caddy Scholarship. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in science.

Dr. Yurchak received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

During the Korean War, he was a preventative medical officer for the 7th Division of the U.S. Army, serving in Korea. His last tour of duty was in Fort Knox, Ky.

After his military service, Dr. Yurchak returned to the University of Pennsylvania to complete his residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases while working on a pneumonia vaccine.

Later, he was drawn to Buffalo to do research with Dr. Thomas Tomasi, and he completed a fellowship in allergy at Buffalo General Hospital.

Dr. Yurchak joined the late Dr. John Kent at Buffalo Amherst Allergy Associates in the late 1960s.

Dr. Yurchak lived for many years with his family on Lakeshore Road in Hamburg.

He was an avid golfer and enjoyed teaching the game to his children and grandchildren, who called him "Papa Tony."

"My father was a low-key guy. He would walk up to the ball, not take a practice swing and, relaxed, hit the ball really well," Callahan said. "He was a very unassuming person who you wouldn't think was that good and was. He never bragged."

Dr. Yurchak also enjoyed fine arts, history, cooking, nature and travel. He and his wife traveled with the Notre Dame Travel Club, and he kept in touch with many fellow 1957 Notre Dame graduates.

Dr. Yurchak was also a member of the American Medical Association, the Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology and the Buffalo Allergy Society.

He was preceded in death in 2014 by a son, Michael.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Eleanor Sieracki; a daughter, Elizabeth Callahan; a son, Joseph; and 10 grandchildren.

Services were held May 15.


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