Franca T. Kuchnir, 79, of Southborough


Southborough – Franca T. Kuchnir, Ph.D, 79, of Southborough and formerly of Elmhurst, Ill., died peacefully Tuesday, April 28, 2015 in Milford Regional Medical Center after a struggle with bladder cancer.

Franca was born and lived in Bulgaria until 1948 when her family moved to Italy and then Brazil. She met and married Moyses Kuchnir in college at the University of Sao Paulo and they came to the U.S. for graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she earned a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics in 1966 under the direction of Prof. Alfred O. Hanson.

Dr. Kuchnir began her post-doctoral career at Argonne National Laboratory, taught at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and then moved to the University of Chicago, where she eventually became Associate Professor of Medical Physics with tenure.

In her career of 30-plus years, she made significant contributions to research and development in neutron dosimetry and clinical radiation physics, and was a consummate teacher of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as technical and medical staff.

In 1999, with funds from a patent she created with colleagues, Dr. Kuchnir initiated the University of Chicago’s on-going Residency Program in Medical Physics, which she directed until her retirement in January 2001.

Her children remember her as a driven professional and dedicated mother who expected and brought out the best in them.

Dr. Kuchnir is survived by her husband, Moyses Kuchnir, Ph.D., of Southborough; her son, Louis Kuchnir, M.D., Ph.D., his wife, Karen C. Covert, MBA, and their children Ken, Abigail, Lauren and Jenna, also of Southborough; her daughter, Deborah K. Fygenson, Ph.D., her husband, Mendel Fygenson, Ph.D., and their children, Racquel and Pessia, of Goleta, Calif.; and, her sister, Ernestina T. Ivanov of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Visiting hours will be held Saturday, May 2, from 9-11 a.m., at Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main St., Southborough. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, send donations to Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation at

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