Lasting Memories

Debby Ide Ruskin
Sept. 11, 1944-March 28, 2020
Palo Alto, California

Deborah Ide Ruskin, a Palo Alto resident and landscape designer died at home on March 28 surrounded by her family following a 2 1/2 year battle with cancer, Debby will be remembered by many for the beautiful residential gardens she created in the peninsula and south bay. She graduated from University of Arizona with a degree in Fine Arts and from Berkeley Extension Program in Landscape Architecture. Partnering with her daughter, Amy Palmer, Ruskin Gardens design and fine gardening business became well known and highly respected in the area. She helped found the California chapter of APLD, the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and later served as the secretary/treasurer of the National Association. She was involved with the Palo Alto Garden Club for many years and was invaluable in labeling all plants for the annual Gamble’s Spring Garden Tour. Debby was the anchor of her blended family and will be sorely missed by her husband Rob Ruskin, daughter Amy Palmer (Gadi Zohar) and sons Josh Palmer (Heather), Ethan Ruskin (Korinne) and Dan Ruskin (Kari) as well as 7 awesome grandchildren Landon and Braden Palmer, Izzy and Ben Zohar and Matthew, Ryan and Ellen Ruskin. The entire family plus nieces and nephews gather in Hawaii for a week every July and at Tahoe during winter break. She brought fun, joy and strength to every gathering. Debby will also be remembered by her many friends for her beauty and skill on the tennis court. For many she was a favorite doubles partner. Her coach, Mariano Paris, at Foothills T&S club wrote a glowing description of Debby the player and the amazing positive and encouraging person she was. She loved games in particular bridge with our very fun group of 4 couples who came together for bridge and dinner regularly. Debby was a member of the Palo Alto Kiwanis Club and participated annually at the University Avenue Art and Wine Festival pouring with her charming smile to raise money for their charitable foundation. She was active every year at the Kiwanis May Fete Faire at Heritage park at the end of the May Fete parade. Debby will be remembered lovingly by her family including her sister, Susan Junta, many nieces and nephews and many friends as the kind, generous and caring person she was. The family prefers donations in her memory to be made to Gamble Gardens with the goal of adding a brick with her name to the beautiful gazebo in the center of the demonstration garden or to The Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto Charitable Foundation that serves the needs of children in the area. The family plans to have a celebration of her life when large gatherings are once again possible.

From Dave Junta
May 15, 2020

Debby was the best aunt one could ever ask for. For as long as I can remember, she made every event brighter and more fun, loved learning new things and hearing all about the latest in everyone’s lives, and her beauty and warmth shone through with every laugh and smile. She will be missed dearly.