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BREAKING NEWS: Sasha Burakow, Duke freshman, dies

Alexandra M. "Sasha" Burakow, a Duke freshman from Fairfax Station, Va., died Dec. 17, 2003. She was 19. Burakow suffered a brain aneurism on her way home for winter break Saturday, Dec. 13, and passed away early Wednesday morning. The Chronicle has yet to confirm the cause of her illness or death.

Burakow is survived by her father, Nicholas; her mother Diane; her younger brother, Michael; and her dog, Billie.

"We had only begun to know this talented young woman, whose achievements in high school ranged from varsity athletics to the national semifinals of the prestigious Intel Science Competition," President Nan Keohane said in a statement. "Her death is a great loss not only for her classmates who lived with her on East Campus and who shared classes and activities, but for all of us in the Duke community. We extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends on campus, in Virginia and everywhere Sasha touched people's lives. She will be deeply missed."

A viewing will be held between 2 and 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at the Demaine Funeral Home, at 5308 Backlick Rd., in Springfield, Va.

A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, at St. Clare of Assisi Church, at 7616 Maple Branch Rd., in Clifton, Va. (Editor's note: alternate sources provide 12409 Henderson Rd. as the street address for the church.)

A burial, to follow the mass, will take place at the Fairfax Memorial Park, at 9900 Braddock Rd., in Fairfax, Va. A reception will follow; location is to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to her alma mater, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, c/o the Sasha Burakow Scholarship Fund.

In addition, a website,, has been created for everyone to post messages related to how they knew Sasha and how they would like her remembered.

Editor's Note: The Chronicle will provide complete coverage of this tragedy when it resumes publication Jan. 7. Duke community members, and other friends and family are welcome to submit their remembrances of Sasha, a selection of which will be published in The Chronicle in January. Please limit submissions to 200 words or less, and include Name, Hometown, Duke affiliation if applicable, and relationship to Sasha. Friends and family may also post feedback at the conclusion of this article, although please note that these feedbacks will not be published in The Chronicle. Submissions may be sent via e-mail to

The Chronicle staff extends its prayers and thoughts to Sasha and her family.


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