At the Senate hearing for his confirmation to a seat on the Public Service Commission last January, Victor Cushwa Jr. spoke openly and courageously about his lung cancer. The disease had prompted his resignation from the state Senate after 13 years, but he announced his determination to not to let it end his term on the PSC prematurely. As it turned out, Cushwa did not complete his term after all. As his wife Patricia noted, his death Monday at the age of 66 silenced a booming voice. But death does not overshadow a career of public service characterized by decency, diligence and respect for those he disagreed with.
Cushwa was born into a prominent Western Maryland family but, to his credit, he did not take his privileges for granted. Instead he devoted his time in public life to helping to see that other people could enjoy those same privileges. In a world in which the din of political static often obscures the bigger picture, that is a legacy worth noting.