PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Serra Baskina died Sept. 4, 2022, at The Miriam Hospital, Providence. She was affectionately known as “Baba Sonya” to her family and community.
Serra was born during WWII in Slavgorod, Belarus, to the late Yankel Smolkin and Elka Fleer. She lost her father on the battlefield, and she was raised by her mother. She was a star student and persisted through difficult and humbling times. She proudly served as a nurse-midwife in the USSR before moving to the United States with her family, where she excitedly became a citizen. She raised her grandchildren on the principles of kindness and patience.
She was the devoted mother of Galina Berin (and her late husband Mikhail), of Providence, and Natalia Vygoder (and her husband Gennady), of Pawtucket. She was the loving grandmother of Dr. Anna Berin-Wright (and her husband Jeffrey), Olga Vygoder, Abraham Berin (and his wife Leah) and Frank Vygoder. She was the cherished great-grandmother of Mikhaila Berin-Wright, Mikhail Berin and Maxwell Berin-Wright.
Many have seen her smiling face walking up and down Hope Street in Providence, enjoying a book in the Rochambeau Library, sipping some tea in The Miriam Hospital cafeteria and reciting poetry or singing songs from her youth at any function. She will be dearly missed.