Obituary: Franca T. Kuchnir, Ph.D, 79

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

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 US 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 30+ year career, 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, 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, CA; and, her sister, Ernestina T. Ivanov of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Visiting hours will be held on Saturday, May 2, 9 to 11 am at Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main St, Southborough.

Burial will be private.

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

To send words of condolence to the family please visit

(Obituary via Morris Funeral Home)

  • © 2024 — All rights reserved.