Natalie Cruickshank

Obituary of Natalie Cruickshank

Natalie Dearborn Cruickshank passed away quietly in her sleep on August 29, 2014, at the age of 87. She was born in Boston Massachusetts, the daughter of Prof. Walter F. and Ellen K. Dearborn, and was raised in Cambridge, Mass. She graduated from the Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and then from Boston University with an Associates in Commercial Science. Later in life she continued her education at Rider University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree. She began her business career as a secretary in the Boston area, where she met her husband, Philip. They were married in 1953; she retired soon after to become a wife and mother to their children. They soon moved to the New Brunswick, NJ area, and then back to Massachusetts, where they lived in Lexington for five years. In 1963 they moved to Princeton Township; they lived there for 45 years before moving to the Princeton Manor community in Kendall Park. She was very active in the schools that her children attended, first at the Littlebrook School, where she served as a Room Mother, and then as Vice President and President of the PTO at the Community Park Middle School. Her love of children and participating in their activities led her to become a Cub Scout Den Mother for her two sons in Troop 43. In 1969 she received the Den Mother's Training Award from the George Washington Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 1970 she returned to her career as a secretary and Administrative Assistant, joining the staff at Princeton University. Initially she worked for the Dept. of Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, and then for the Dept. of Civil and Geological Engineering. In 1976 she transferred to the Humanities Council, where she enjoyed meeting the renowned visiting scholars. She also relished acting as the hostess at the receptions given by the Council. In 1981, she left the University to become the Municipal Clerk for Princeton Township, initially as an appointment, then winning an election for a three year term. Again, she enjoyed her interaction with the public and the Princeton Township staff. At the end of the term, she chose to resign and return to the business world. She retired from her final job with Merrill Lynch Asset Management in 1996. Natalie's retirement provided the opportunity to once again work with children. She volunteered as a mentor and tutor in the Princeton Public Library's Springboard Program to help children with their studies. In 2000 she participated in the YWCA's Adventure Camp as a story reader to young children, and volunteered with Princeton Young Achiever's. From 2000 to 2008 she volunteered to read to children in grades K through three at the Johnson Park Elementary School on behalf of the Princeton Public Library's Outreach Program. In her program, called "Miss Natalie and Friends", she combined story reading with selections from her collection of puppets and stuffed animals as they related to the stories. She was particularly gratified when students who had advanced beyond her classes would approach her in the library and tell her how her program had led them to enjoy reading. Natalie and her husband enjoyed traveling, with many trips through Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Canada. She was a great cook, and hosted many parties for friends at her Princeton home. Natalie and her devoted husband, Philip A. Cruickshank, had a wonderful marriage of 61 years. She is survived by her husband, three children, and three grandchildren: Stewart A. Cruickshank and his wife Betty; Marsha C. Wagner and her daughter Jessica; Walter D. Cruickshank, his wife Deborah Gartland, and their two daughters Delaney and Riley. Services were private. Arrangements are under the direction of The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
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