Dr. Tatyana M. Sigal, 52, died on October 16, 2017 at her home surrounded by family.
Unwavering in her commitments. Brave in her struggles. Fierce in her advocacy. Exceptional in her knowledge. Eternal in her love. Tatyana was loved by so many, and she returned it many fold.
Tatyana was born on July 14, 1965, in Gorky, Russia. She was an exceptional scholar, achieving merits that few Soviet Jews were allowed to receive at that time. She met her life partner, Yakov, at the age of eighteen; they married in 1986, and soon had a son, Boris. Tatyana finished medical school and completed a PhD in epidemiology shortly thereafter.
In 1993, faced with the uncertainty and danger Jews experienced in the former Soviet Union, Tatyana and Yakov made the difficult decision to immigrate as refugees to San Francisco, leaving all they knew to start over in the United States with their young son.
Starting her career anew, Tatyana flourished. After moving to East Lansing, Tatyana completed residency at MSU Psychiatry, practiced at St. Lawrence Hospital, and established her own clinic. She put her patients first. No one was reduced to a diagnosis or a disease; instead, each was treated as a whole person whose complexity deserved respect and thoughtful, individualized care. Tatyana never stopped learning, integrating emerging research into her practice and completing a master’s degree in psychopharmacology in her spare time. And she took every opportunity to teach and mentor future physicians.
Outside of work, Tatyana built a vibrant community of friends. She befriended people from all walks of life wherever she went and never missed a chance to bring people together, to listen to their stories, and to share in joys and sorrows.
Tatyana cherished her family. She was preceded in death by her father, Mikhail Portnoy. She is survived by her husband, Yakov Sigal; her son, Boris Sigal and daughter-in-law Tessa Bialek; her mother, Maya Portnaya; her brother- and sister-in-law, Mark and Ella Sigal; her niece and nephew, Dina Sigal and Joseph Walsh; and many other beloved family members near and far. Most recently, Tatyana delighted in her grandchildren, Micah and Orly, who brought much joy.
The family welcomes donations in Tatyana’s memory to the Art for Charlie Foundation (artforcharlie.org/sigal).
A memorial service celebrating Tatyana’s life will be held at the MSU Radiology Auditorium (846 Service Road) on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.