Taseva was one of six people in Vermont who died as a result of the flood. On Sunday, August 28, 2011, Taseva was in a vehicle with her boyfriend Kiril Donev and another friend, driving on Route 100 toward the village. Near Deerfield Valley Elementary School, the river had overflowed the road, and the vehicle was caught in the strong current. All three were able to get out of the vehicle, and began making their way back to solid ground when Taseva was swept away by the current. Donev went back into the water to search for her, but couldn’t locate her. After flood waters had receded, Taseva’s body was found in a nearby field. Taseva was 20 when she died. She and Donev, both from Štip, Macedonia, had come to work in the valley as part of a summer international worker program at Mount Snow. Taseva worked in the housekeeping department at Mount Snow, as well as other businesses in town – including Dot’s Restaurant. It was her boyfriend’s second summer working in the valley.
Since her death, some unknown friend has maintained a memorial marker on Route 100 near the spot where her body was found.
But earlier this year a more permanent memorial to Taseva was installed in Wilmington, this one on the grounds of the apartment building where she lived in Wilmington Village.
The memorial, a granite bench with Taseva’s likeness carved into the back, was put in place near Taseva’s apartment over Apres Vous on South Main Street around the end of May.
Karen and Adam Grinold, Taseva’s landlords, said they felt compelled to do something to remember what they’ve called “our greatest loss.”
“We didn’t know her well, but we were their first connection here,” says Adam Grinold. “We thought we needed to do something more permanent, so we set out to do it. It happened faster than we thought.”
Grinold says Taseva and her friends got along well in the valley, finding new friends and enjoying their stay. “They were really happy, they loved Vermont, and they made friends in the community,” he says. “It’s such a tragic thing, it’s still hard to think about it.”
Grinold says he was the one who had to break the news of Taseva’s death to some of the other international workers. “They were a really strong community,” he says. “They were all kids from other countries, and they had grown close.”
Karen Grinold says the bench was purchased with donations from the community. One of the reasons it was ready earlier than had originally been planned was that the contributions came in faster than expected. “A bunch of people sent checks,” she says. “The employee fund at Mount Snow wrote a huge check, and Lynn Bucossi of Friends of the Valley, Meg Streeter, Peter Miles, and others.” Grinold says there was also money left over from a fund she and Adam Grinold had established to help their tenants.
Several of the Grinolds’ rental units had been damaged in the flood. “We sent checks to residents who were flooded out,” she said. “And there were people giving us money at Wahoos – the patrons who were eating there, and our employees didn’t take any tips. What was left over, we put toward the memorial.”
Abbiati Monuments, who created the bench, also made a donation.
Grinold says the gesture has been appreciated by Taseva’s friends, both those she made in Vermont and her friends at home in Macedonia. “One of the reasons we held the candlelight vigil was to connect with them,” she said. “I think people are happy to see that we’re doing something to remember her.”
Taseva’s brother, Deni Tasev, has started a Facebook page in her memory at https://www.facebook.com/groups/276763525686864/.