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C. Nelson Crusse, a longtime cosmetologist and owner of the Ruxton Hair Gallery, died Monday of cancer at his Pikesville home. He was 69.

Mr. Crusse, who was known as John, was born in Baltimore and raised in Essex. He was a 1957 graduate of Kenwood High School and attended beauty school in Baltimore.

Mr. Crusse, who worked as a beautician for nearly 50 years, established the Ruxton Hair Gallery on Bellona Avenue in the early 1980s.

An accomplished gourmet cook, Mr. Crusse enjoyed entertaining family and friends.

He was a fan of Christmas and actively looked forward to it all year.

"He loved telling people how many days it was to Christmas," said his companion of 17 years, Dan Weinstein.

He enjoyed decorating his home and preparing special holiday foods, Mr. Weinstein said.

"He enjoyed shopping for gifts months before Christmas," Mr. Weinstein said.

Mr. Crusse, who liked taking tropical cruises, was also a fan of classical music, jazz and dance.

Services for Mr. Crusse will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Also surviving is his mother, Mary Roth of Baldwin; a sister, Alice Schein of Baldwin; and a nephew.

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