ALEXANDER KRUTSKY
1950 - 2020
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KRUTSKY, Alexander Woodworker, Mentor, Friend Alexander "Alex" Krutsky passed away peacefully, just as he lived, on October 9, in the home he shared with his wife, Maggie McNally. He died from complications related to Lewy Body Dementia. Alex, a longtime resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts was a fine woodworker, furniture maker, and a 1981 graduate of the renowned cabinet and furniture making program at Boston's North Bennet Street School, where he was a part-time instructor from 1985 until his retirement in 2017. As a member of Fort Point Cabinetmakers, a cooperative woodworking shop, Alex maintained a successful custom commission business serving an eclectic mix of private, commercial, and nonprofit clients who sought his unique skills and approach to working with wood. Alex spent his early years in Tanguy Homesteads, an interracial cooperative community his mother, Harriet, and father, Edward, helped establish in Southeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1940s. Born in 1950, he was the youngest of three boys. He followed his big brothers, Edward, II "Ned" and Jonathan "Jon" to Westtown Friends' School, a local Quaker school. After Westtown he bounced around a bit before coming to Boston to pursue his interest in woodworking. As he learned more about traditional forms of furniture and technique, Alex began to more deeply explore the work that came from his home area outside of Philadelphia, from 18th and 19th century spice boxes to the 20th century work of Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima. Inspired, he found ways to incorporate the ideas, forms, and techniques to create new work that expressed his own creative style. Alex was meticulously respectful of the materials and tools of the trade, and as an instructor he was deliberate and precise in language, working intentionally and patiently with students to help cultivate practical skill and professional attitude. Marking his retirement from North Bennet, he was appreciated for being "generous with his time and knowledge, and humble about his abilities," and noted for his "gentle guidance and quick wit." In coming together with Maggie McNally in 1989, Alex found the spark to his personal and creative life that would bring deep joy and a continuous expansion of view. They married in 1990, bringing worlds together in a consummate Cantabrigian Quaker/Unitarian convergence. Together Alex and Maggie pursued mutual passions and adventures—music, food, travel, cycling, and baseball, among them—and, as they did so, surrounded themselves with a huge extended family of friends and relatives, often entertaining in their Cambridgeport home. His voice was quiet but his wisdom ran deep, and he had a way of summing up a situation, often with a chuckle, that made people lean in to hear him. He is survived by his wife Maggie, brothers Ned and Jon, and their wives Tina and Susan, nieces Anna, Rebecca, and Carson, nephews-in-law Rowan and Rodrigo, brother-in-law Dennis, sister-in-law Susana, niece Season and her family, Jon, Julian, and Elias. He loved his woodworking community. Donations in his memory may be made to North Bennet Street School or to a cause of your choosing that speaks to you. A private service will be held.

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Published in Boston Globe from Oct. 22 to Oct. 23, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
November 9, 2020
Alex made a beautiful loom which I use for community weaving projects. He took great care with it, came to my house and showed me how to disassemble and reassemble it for transport, and even provided a set of tools. Our acquaintance was brief, but every time I work with the loom I remember his exceptional thoughtfulness.
Dorothea Black
Acquaintance
November 5, 2020
Alex told me on my first day that I would meet and get to know many kindred spirits during my time at North Bennet. Little did I know he was one of the biggest! You will be missed but never forgotten.
Friend & Student
Joseph Corigliano
Friend
November 5, 2020
Dear Alex, You were always ready to share books, life philosophy, and the sensual experience of working wood. Lovely you.
Paula Garbarino
Friend
November 4, 2020
Alex taught me to turn my mallet, to cut my first dovetails and to combat my perfectionism with the joyful experience of making things. He always knew when I needed someone to laugh at me or when I needed to laugh at myself. I miss him and I know I'm just one of many who do.
Aspen Golann
Student
November 2, 2020
Alex was a wonderful shop mate. His calm demeanor, knowledge of the craft, generosity, and sense of humor were always welcome.
Carl Mesrobian
Acquaintance
November 2, 2020
Always gentle, kind and considerate of a struggling student. As a guide he allowed you the time with modest prompting to find the solution for yourself--the very best a mentor can do for a student. Alex also set the standard in Pennsylvania spice boxes. Thank you, Alex. Godspeed you gentle spirit.
John M Driggers
Student
November 2, 2020
Alex you were always such a calming presence when I'd get fearful about something new I was trying to figure out as a student at NBSS. With humor and wisdom and knowledge you helped me thorough those moments so I could stay open to learn more. You were one special guy and I was so lucky to be taught by you and to know you. You are missed and my deep condolences to all who love you.
Judith Hanson
Student
October 26, 2020
Best Friend, Shop-mate and Teaching colleague
Lance Patterson
Friend
October 26, 2020
He was a lovely, kind, talented, and intelligent man - there are few like him. I am so glad that me met and married Maggie- two beautiful people. The world was a better place with him in it.
Tracy Swan
Friend
October 26, 2020
Alex, Your sweet spirit and legacy live on.
Maddy
Friend
October 24, 2020
Thank you Alex. Your leadership both in and out of the shop is an inspiration to us all. The years of incredible work and the students you have inspired will continue to influence the craft for generations.
Dan Faia
Friend
October 23, 2020
Fond memories of his teachings...RIP Alex
James J Jovenich
Student
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