West Boylston – Emily Swide Boosahda, 82, passed away peacefully, with all six of her daughters at her side, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012. Her passing came just in time to join Leo, her “sweetheart” and husband of 58 years, for Valentine's Day.
Born Oct. 3, 1929 in Dedham, she was the daughter of Albert and Mathil Dow Swide. Often quoting Kahlil Gibran in saying, “We live to discover beauty, all else is a form of waiting,” she spent much of her life creating beauty as a professional artist and teacher. Her paintings hang in galleries, professional buildings, schools, libraries, and private homes all over the world.
Quoted as saying, “I strive to use my work to express my dreams for harmony and love for all peoples … the beauty of our environment, intertwined with our daily lives. They serve as vehicles for my expressions on canvas,” Mrs. Boosahda was an art teacher in the West Boylston public school system for over 20 years, beginning her teaching career in the 1950s at Moses Brown School.
Her retirement had a student send-off likened to that of Mr. Holland's Opus, and her superintendent then said, “Unfortunately, it makes sense for Emily to retire; I don's think there are any more awards she can earn, and no one could have more students adore her.” Her students included school-aged children, adult education students, and summer campers from decades ago when she directed camps in Gloucester and Newport.
She continued teaching in her gallery, Studio 31, which her husband built for her, until just days before her recent illness. She loved teaching and found joy in working and sharing with others.
Mrs. Boosahda was also well-known as a community servant. In West Boylston, she served as an officer in many organizations including president of PTA; several art associations, including the Leominster and Shrewsbury Art Associations; and most recently as a very appreciative and active member of the West Boylston Arts Foundation, and the West Boylston Garden Club. Together, in fall 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Boosahda, with a committee of other church enthusiasts, resurrected the Annual Middle Eastern Food Festival at St. George's Orthodox Cathedral.
In addition to her life as a devoted wife, artist, and community advocate, her most precious hours were devoted to her children and grandchildren. Mr. Boosahda predeceased his wife a year ago. Together they leave their six daughters and their families, Stephanie Boosahda of Yarmouth and Nicole, Algis, Colin, and Mitchell Norkevicius of Plymouth; Joshua and Rheem Boosahda, Lucas Leo, and Maya of Hayward, Calif.; and Emily and Kyle Hopkins of Slippery Rock, Penn. (grandchildren); Sandra and Fred Burgoyne of Worcester and Amanda Burgoyne of Chicago, and Andrew and Becky Burgoyne of Millbury (grandchildren); Laurie Boosahda of South Deerfield and Mathiele and Khalil Taylor (grandchildren); Lisa-Holly and John
Sooy of Shrewsbury and John, Evan, and Cole (grandchildren); Kimberly and Timothy Joyce of Hopkinton and Maxwell Leo, Alexander, and Sydney (grandchildren); and Kristen Boosahda Eaton of Shrewsbury and Cassandra (granddaughter). She also leaves four sisters and their families, Lorraine and John Aziz of Falmouth, Elinor O”Neil of Hingham, Elaine and Michael Pew of Alna, Maine, and Linda and Robert Foley of Seattle; her in-laws Freda Dadah, Michael Boosahda, and Elizabeth Boosahda of Worcester; John Busada of Charlottesville, Va., and Abraham Boosahda, of Shreveport, La.; and many, many dozens of nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held Thursday, Feb. 16, 5 to 8 p.m., at Fay Brothers Funeral Home in West Boylston (http://faybrothers.com/fh/facilities/facilities_address.cfm?page=3&fh_id=11638). Friday, Feb. 17, calling hours will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. George's Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m.
Flowers may be sent or memorial donations can be made to West Boylston Arts Foundation, P.O Box 132, West Boylston, MA 01583 or St. George's Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester, MA 01604.