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Alfred "Sonny" C. Kouneski
January 2, 2024
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Alfred “Sonny” Carl Kouneski passed away with strong faith and his loved ones at his side on January 2, 2024 at the age of 88.
Al was born in 1935 in Baltimore, Maryland to his mother, Kathryn Kouneski. The third eldest of six and the eldest son, he lived in a close-knit community and a closer-knit family. He'd proudly professed that throughout his childhood he’d worked every kind of job there was: from picking beans in the summer, a variety of factory jobs in the city, at the harbor, delivering mail, selling produce out of rented carts, landscaping, construction, and working on the railroad.
He also was a star high school football player before joining the Army. When he left the service, he was offered a football scholarship at Kansas State University making him the first person in his family not just to graduate high school, but to attend college as well.
Later, he would be renowned as a talented and respected college football coach and professor, and eventually became a real estate agent where he made several lifelong friendships. After retirement, he returned to teaching both in the classroom as a catechist at St. Ignatius of Loyola and in his personal life.
At Kansas State, Al met Diane Coufal, his eventual wife of fifty-seven years. He joins her now along with their first daughter Kerri Kouneski.
Al also rejoins his two elder sisters Veronica Schlimm and Amelia Adornato and his younger brothers Dominick and Carol Kouneski in addition to his parents Kathryn and Edward Kouneski and many other loved ones who have preceded him.
He leaves behind his daughter Amy McQuay, son-in-law Mike, and granddaughters Cassie and Karly for whom he was a guardian, mentor, and role model. He has also left behind his youngest brother Anthony Kouneski as well as innumerable other family members and his friends who he considered family.
Al will be remembered by his humor, warmth, and resilience; his enormous faith and belief in an all-loving God; his meandering jokes that he forgot the punchlines to and so loitered around the middle of until he could remember the end; and his stories, enough to fill a number of books, which those who’ve survived him will keep retelling. He will also be remembered by his heart, with its great and rare capacity for love.
There will be a memorial mass Monday, January 22nd, 11 a.m. at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church, 4103 Prices Distillery Rd, Ijamsville, MD 21754 and a subsequent lunch in the adjoining hall.
Considering the family’s experience and the time of year, the family requests that those in attendance please consider wearing a mask if you are able to so as to protect those around you who cannot.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.