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Crystal Ruskin Benbow

July 25, 1939 – November 17, 2022



Crystal Benbow, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt departed us at home on her final voyage surrounded by family, age 83. Crystal’s earlier 19 cruises throughout the world and college graduation excursions took her to 58 countries and all seven continents. While Crystal enjoyed travel, the true love and focus of her life was family, especially grandchildren Kristina, Alisha, Jack and Matt, sons and spouses Tim and Teresa and Derek and Lisa, and husband, Bob.


Crystal was born to Lois and Jack Ruskin in Whiting, Indiana, joining sister Cynthia. She attended George Rogers Clark High School, class of 1957, played cornet in the band and became a pianist. At Purdue University, she was a scholarship honor student majoring in sociology, a Boilermaker cheerleader, and a member of her cherished Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.


Upon graduation in 1961, she was employed at American National Bank and Trust Company, Chicago, first as a teller and then in the personnel office. It was the age of inter-office mail, and one day she received a date invitation written on a beer coaster from her soon-to-be-husband, Robert Benbow. Married May 4, 1963, their 59 years of love began. After allowing some time for the beginning of “travel,” they relocated to Massachusetts in 1968, living in historic Concord for 21 years, where they raised their two lifelong Red Sox fans. A second relocation brought them to California, where Crystal lived the remaining 31 years of her life in Tiburon. In 1980, she segued into a decades-long office management career, on the East Coast at Millbrook Psychiatric Services and then Networks Family Counseling Service in San Francisco. A testimony to Crystal’s care for family is that she insisted on personally driving cross-country from Massachusetts to California to join Bob because of her love for our Bichon Frisés. She did not want to risk Cotton and Brandy flying to the West Coast in the luggage compartment of an airplane.


The family especially wishes to thank Crystal’s thoughtful and wonderful caregivers, Ane and Paulini. A memorial service will be held at Fernwood Funeral Home in Mill Valley on Sunday, December 18. In memory of Crystal, donations may be made to Kappa Alpha Theta, payable to: Alpha Chi Chapter Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 3754, West Lafayette, IN 47996.

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