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Former Crate And Barrel CEO Barbara Turf, 71, Passes

Former Crate and Barrel CEO Barbara Turf passed away Saturday, July 12, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 71.

Turf retired from her CEO position at Crate and Barrel in 2012 and had joined the company’s board of directors.

Turf was named CEO of Crate and Barrel in 2008, after founder and longtime CEO Gordon Segal retired. She joined Crate and Barrel as a part-time salesperson in 1967, moving to its corporate headquarters in 1974.

“Barbara had a lot of humanity; she really loved people and cared for people,” Segal told HomeWorld Business. 

“She was such a thoughtful person. Her thoughtfulness helped us all make good decisions,” Segal continued. “To her, it was much more than a business; it was the opportunity to create something beautiful. She was a most remarkable, elegant person who changed the way people in this country, live, dine and furnish.”

Her “impeccable eye for style, trend and design defined the merchandising and marketing vision of Crate and Barrel,” company CEO Sascha Bopp said in a statement. “Crate and Barrel would not be the company it is today without Barbara’s leadership, influence and inspiration.”

At the 2011 Housewares Charity Gala, Turf, then CEO and president of Crate and Barrel, received the Lifetime Humanitarian award. Turf was lauded for her commitment to leading the company’s support of charitable efforts, including education, breast cancer, AIDS research, and hunger and disaster relief. 

Turf retired after 40 years at Crate and Barrel in 2012. Following her retirement from Crate and Barrel, she started Turf International Development Group a retail consulting business. 

Turf is survived by her husband of 40 years, Robert Turf, three children and two grandchildren.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Thursday morning July 17, 10 a.m., at Saints Faith, Hope and Charity Catholic Parish, 191 Linden St. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery, 9900 Gross Point Road. Skokie, IL.

In lieu of flowers, people are invited to make a donation to: University of Chicago Initiative on Pancreatic Cancer, Medicine and Biological Sciences Development, 130 East Randolph Street, Suite 1400, Chicago IL. 60601: In memory of Barbara Turf