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Robert Crummey

April 12, 1936 — November 6, 2023


Robert Owen Crummey died Nov. 6, 2023, age 87. He was born April 12, 1936, in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, son of Clarence and Dorothy, brother of Ida, Donald, Clare and James. His cousin Kenneth Oakley and family friend Louise (Audet) Major were raised as siblings. He had one child, Danie,l from his first marriage.

He was an avid singer with a lovely tenor voice and enjoyed singing whenever the opportunity presented. He was a church goer, attending the Episcopalian Church of St. Matin's in Davis where he met Nancy Nesbitt. They were married in 1980. She had three sons from a previous marriage, Reed, Julian and John. Robert had many grandchildren. He was generous with attention and affection to all.

Robert was dedicated to his work as well as his family. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1958 and completed his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1964. Robert was a specialist in Russian Medieval history. He visited Russia many times while living in Finland during the Cold War. He also spoke six or seven languages, including Finnish and Russian.

His formal career as a historian began at Yale University where he taught from 1965 to 1974. He then assumed positions from associate professor to full professor at UC Davis from 1974 to 1988. In 1988 he became dean of the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis.

Robert produced many scholarly works and papers, including four books. He was an active member of the American History Association and the American Association for Advancement of Slavic Studies. He had many achievements including being listed as a noteworthy history educator. He valued and respected student work very highly. His teaching skills and mentorship of graduate students were recognized by students, his peers, and university administrators.

His retirement in 1994 provided him with more time to devote to many of his great loves. He and Nancy travelled extensively, including visiting his family roots in Nova Scotia and around the globe. When he wasn’t taking his grandson Daniel swimming, he was following the Giants and 49ers!

An Episcopal graveside ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Davis Cemetery. Lunch will be served afterwards at Tres Hermanas in Davis. Everyone is welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made in Robert’s honor to the Episcopal Church of St. Martin, 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis, CA 95616.

Nancy Nesbit-Crummey


October  22, 1933 — September 29, 2023

Nancy Alice Nesbit Crummey, 89, died in Davis, California on September 29, 2023 following an extended illness. Nancy was greatly loved by her family and friends and will be deeply missed.

Nancy was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on October 22, 1933, to Reed Miller Nesbit and Mable Wilkins Nesbit. She grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan along with two sisters, Mary Templar (Chertie) and Mablean (Babe).

When Nancy was eight years old, she was hit by a car, and the accident broke both of her legs. She was in the hospital for an extended period, but the experience proved quite formative because it was then that Nancy decided to become a nurse. Nancy graduated from the University of Michigan's school of nursing in 1955. After nursing school, she met and married Julian Youmans.

Nancy and Julian had three sons Reed (Susan), John (Rose) and Julian Jr. (Julie). (Julian Jr. is now deceased). Nancy and Julian Sr. lived in a different university towns because Julian Sr. was an academic Neurosurgeon. In 1967 they moved to Davis, CA.

Working was always important to Nancy. In 1975 she refreshed her nursing license and went to work at the Woodland Clinic. By 1980 she was working as a nurse at the University of California, Davis, medical school. That same year she married Robert (Bob) O. Crummey, who was a professor of History at UCDavis. Bob came with a son named Daniel (Dan) who was seven years old at the time. Nancy was glad to have a fourth son and treated him like the other three boys. Nancy finished her career by working as the Management Service Officer for Dr. Joseph Silva in the department of Internal Medicine, UCDavis Medical School.

Nursing and the University of California, Davis treated Nancy well. She is survived by a sister, her sons, their wives, children and grandchildren. An Episcopal grave side ceremony will be held at the Davis Cemetery on Saturday October 7th at 11:00 AM. Lunch will be served afterwards at Tres Hermanas in Davis. Everyone is welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made in Nancy's honor to Short Term Emergency Aid Committee (STEAC).

Published by Ann Arbor News from Oct. 16 to Oct. 19, 2023.

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