Faina Kogan

Posted: Mon 8:47 AM, Jul 30, 2012
Funeral Home: Hillier Funeral Home
October 20, 1920 - July 28, 2012

Faina Kogan, 91, passed away July 28, with her family at her side. She was laid to rest in a private burial at College Station City Cemetery.

Faina Kogan overcame many hardships to lead a long, full, and accomplished life.

She was born the youngest of five children in the small town of Pervomaisk in Ukraine. Her parents died of typhus when Faina was two; she was raised by her sister Ita who was twenty years older with small children of her own.

When Faina was a teenager Ita sent her to live with their brother in Odessa to attend school. In Odessa Faina perfected her Russian (Ita's family spoke Yiddish), graduated from high school, and did a large portion of the chores for her brother's family. She became the first person in her family to attend college and graduated with a degree in finance in 1941. She was assigned a bank job in the distant city of Voronezh. She took a train toward the front lines of World War II only to find her place of employment in ruins. Faina and her new coworkers had to leave the city on foot.

WWII took the lives of many men in Faina's life. She lost two brothers and a nephew. Her boyfriend came back changed by the atrocities of war; they decided not to marry. But shared experiences during the war left Faina with several life-long friends and an exceptional strength of character.

After the war ended Faina married Boris Mogilevsky, a war veteran and a widower 17 years her senior. She adopted his daughter and had a daughter of her own. She was gradually promoted to become the manager of her department. She loved her job and worked there until retiring in 1976. She and Boris reportedly never had a single argument during their 20 happy years of marriage. But the war took its toll on Boris. He died at 63.

Later on Faina moved in with her daughter's family and helped run the household. When the family immigrated to America 1990, 70-year-old Faina went with them.

In New York, Wichita, and College Station Faina kept up a steel-willed effort to learn English, eventually becoming fluent. She made new friends who spoke no Russian or Yiddish. She kept her apartment and her daughter's house immaculately clean. She modified Jewish-Ukrainian dishes to fit American ingredients and tastes. She traveled with her family all over the United States and Europe.

In 1999 Faina was diagnosed with melanoma and had a surgery. For the next thirteen years she remained independent, upbeat, blunt in criticism and generous in praise. She read books, cooked, crocheted, played cards with her friends, helped her daughter with household chores and advised her granddaughter. After the cancer returned in 2009, she battled it bravely for three years.

She is survived by her daughter, Mila Mogilevsky and son-in-law, Peter Kuchment of College Station; granddaughter, Olga Kuchment; grandson-in-law, William Justice; and great-grandson, Abram Kuchment of Salina, Kan.

The family is very grateful to Dr. Jenkins for a long term care of Faina, to Fortress Health & Rehab, which became her last home, and to hospice Traditions, especially to Phyllis and Laurie for tireless care and attention to the whole family during Faina's last days.

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