Taissa Turkevich Kusma - Lincoln

Taissa Turkevich Kusma - Lincoln

Taissa Turkevich Kusma, of Lincoln, passed away, peacefully, with her loved ones by her side on Saturday, April 24, at Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence. She was the beloved wife of the (late) Bohdan R. Kusma, M.D.

Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Taissa was the daughter of Lev and Olia Turkevich. Her father, Lev, was a well-known choral and symphonic conductor, composer, arranger and teacher in Lviv, Ukraine; Vienna, Austria; and Edmonton and Toronto in Canada.

Taissa’s family fled from the Soviets to Bregenz, Austria, where they lived in a DP (displaced persons') Camp when she was 9 years old. Four years later her family emigrated to Canada; Edmonton and then Toronto, where she graduated with the highest score in the province of Toronto at the age of 16. She won a scholarship to the University of Toronto and graduated at the age of 20 as the only girl in a class of 65 chemical engineers. She chose an offer from an American research company in Delaware.

Taissa and Bohdan met in NYC, were married in 1960, and moved to Wickford, R.I., where Bohdan was to start his private pediatric practice. After taking more than a decade off as housewife and mother, Taissa resumed her studies and received a master's in library science degree at URI in 1975. Her career catapulted as she worked at American Mathematical Society, American Institute of Physics and Academic Press. She served as president of ASIDIC, on the Board of Directors of NFAIS, chair of Special Libraries Assoc. and on many advisory committees for over 20 years. She later did consulting from home. As much as her career was an important part of her life, her family meant everything to her and she gave selflessly to all around her.

Taissa radiated an inexhaustible "joie de vivre;" joy of living. She loved to travel, experience nature and race walk throughout R.I.'s beautiful locations, and was passionate about the Philharmonic, Newport Music Festival and WaterFire. She always was smiling and upbeat and will be missed greatly by her family and friends.

Taissa is survived by her daughter, Lydia Kusma Minyayluk, spouse Yuri, and their son Stefan of Lincoln; and her son, Orest Kusma and his children Crystal and Roman of Coventry; her brother Roman Turkevich and his wife, Luba; and her nephew Leon Turkevich and his spouse, Jan, and their daughter, Natalie, and niece Nadia (Turkevich) Skiscim and her spouse, Larry, and their children, Katherine, Andrew and Matthew all from Maryland. She is also survived by relatives in Ukraine, Switzerland, Italy, England and Germany.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Saturday, May 15, from 9 to 10 a.m. in St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, 394 Blackstone St., Woonsocket, as well as a Mass of Christian Burial immediately following at 10 a.m. Burial is private. For online condolences visit www.thekeefefuneralhome.com .