West Hartford resident Sandra Kush wouldn’t let her blindness get in the way of changing the world and making people laugh.
Kush, who was certified legally blind in 2005 but had sight problems well before that, lived life to the fullest, according to her husband Bob Kush.
“Nothing kept her down,” Bob Kush said in a telephone interview. “She walked the dog with me. She never stayed home. She lived life to the fullest.”
Sandra, who taught in the Coventry, Farmington, West Hartford and New Britain public school systems, played racquetball, went to the beach, swam, did spin classes and performed improvisation.
For the last three years, she worked part-time as the program director at the Elmwood Community Center.
Sadly, Sandra passed away on Dec. 28 - her birthday - after a 2-year battle with cancer. She was 59.
“She fought,” Bob said. “She was home for Christmas.”
Sandra Kush graduated from Colgate University and received her MBA from Northeastern University.
She lived in Boston for 10 years, working as an auditor at Boston Edison and as a manager of a Yankee Bank before moving back to West Hartford to teach.
She attended the University of Hartford to obtain her teaching certificate in elementary education.
Sandra worked as a teacher for 20 years until 2006, when her eyesight forced her into retirement, Bob Kush said.
Not one to feel sorry for herself, Sandra took on new challenges, including performing with her improv group Home Brew through Playhouse on Park.
“She loved improv,” Bob Kush said. “She loved the stage. It was another case that despite being blind, she didn’t care. She was very quick witted and very good at it.”
Bob Kush said that she performed two shows to packed houses at the Elmwood Community Center in 2012.
In addition, Bob Kush said that Sandra loved going to the beach and listening to books through her iPhone.
She also belonged to the Women in Networking group in West Hartford and was a member of the National Federation for the Blind and for the Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (NESB).
Sandra was also known for taking in a Rolling Stones show or six, and she counted Sheryl Crow and Tom Petty among her favorite musicians.
“She was quite a dancer,” said Bob Kush, adding that Sandra loved jazz and show tunes as well.
In addition to her husband Bob, Sandra is survived by her son Colin, 20, her sister Barbara Gabriel and brother-in-law David Gabriel.According to her obituary, a memorial service celebrating Sandra's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Universalist Church of West Hartford, 433 Fern Street.