John H. Cronin
August 17, 1928 – January 26, 2021
Dr. John Harry Cronin went to be with his Lord and Savior on January 26, 2021. He was born on August 17, 1928 to Daniel and Della Cronin in Minden, Nebraska, and was the youngest of 13 children. He was a man who had love of God, his family and friends, and of service to others.
Born and raised on a farm northwest of Minden, John learned to be strong-willed and independent due to the early death of his father when he was only 12. Working wherever/whenever he could to help support the family, John was also an exceptional student and went on to graduate from Minden High School in 1947. He initially attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln on scholarship for a year, before transferring to Kearney State College. His schooling was interrupted, as he was called to serve his country, which he proudly did as a United States Marine serving in Korea. John served from February 1952 until March 1953, and upon returning to the states, was stationed at Jacksonville Naval Station in Florida. After his tour of service was completed, John returned to school and received his Bachelor's Degree in Biology.
John was greatly affected by his time serving overseas, as he was concerned about what was to become of his fellow servicemen that had suffered severe injuries in combat, so after completing his bachelor's degree, John enrolled at Colorado State Teacher's College, now the University of Northern Colorado, and earned his Master's Degree in Psychology in 1956. He was hired by the State of Colorado in 1957 as a Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor and relocated to Greeley, CO.
Not long after arriving in Greeley, John began frequenting the Hotel Camfield's restaurant for lunch, and was smitten by the hostess - her name was Polly Munson. John and Polly began dating, fell in love and were married on May 25, 1959. They bought their first house together in the Hillside area in south Greeley, and began to raise a family. John continued working for the state, with Polly playing the organ at First Congregational Church and giving piano lessons. While working for the state, John began working on his Doctorate in Special Education at UNC, which he received in 1966. Upon the death of his supervisor, John was asked to take over the position at the Northeastern Office of Greeley, which he held until 1970 when he accepted a teaching position in the Vocational Rehabilitation Department at UNC. John taught at UNC until he took early retirement in 1984, where he returned to working with clients at The Villa of Greeley until 1986. He then was offered a position in an independent vocational rehabilitation office, where he worked for seven years before he retired.
John was a man of service, and spent most of his life helping to benefit and improve the lives of others. He received numerous awards and citations, including a National Citation from the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association in 1970 for his work establishing the High Plains Rehabilitation Center at Logan County Hospital in Sterling. John was a member of the Sertoma Club of Greeley, and received their "Service to Mankind Award" in 1974, served as a board member of Weld Information and Referral Services (WIRS), was a board member for the Weld County Community Center Foundation and for Envision of Greeley, and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Christian Home. In addition to his work with many organizational boards, he and Polly spent countless hours volunteering for numerous causes around the Greeley area. Among their favorite activities was dressing up as clowns, having attended a Clown College to "learn the trade" - they performed for patients at the former North Colorado Medical Center for many years, in addition to helping with numerous office tasks in the Records department at the hospital.
John was also a man of great faith. He was a lifetime member of First Congregational Church of Greeley, where he again served on numerous boards and committees. John also took great pride and joy in restoring the furniture of the church, and helped raise funds to install the organ that now graces the sanctuary.
John was also a man who loved his family. He and Polly had 5 children: Cheryl, Mark, Brian, Melinda and Eric Cronin. Their family also hosted many exchange students over the years while living in Hillside. After raising their children, John and Polly had a new home built and relocated to northwest Greeley in the Villa Serena neighborhood, where they have resided until John's death.
John was preceded in death by his parents Daniel and Della Cronin and Arthur and Zella Munson, his sisters Irene Jeffries, Mary Tracy, Nora Walentine, Della Rounds, Loretta Emal, Edna Kramer and Vivian Phillips, his sister-in-law Cleda Russell, his brothers Ralph Grogan, James Cronin, David Cronin, Lawrence Cronin and Richard Cronin, brother-in-law Earle Russell, and nephews John and James Russell. He was also preceded in death by his infant son, Mark.
John is survived by his wife of 61 years, Polly Cronin, his daughter and son-in-law Cheryl and Mark Larsen, his son and daughter-in-law Brian and Jennifer Cronin, his daughter Melinda Cronin, his son and daughter-in-law Eric and Crystal Cronin, his nieces Sharon Russell and Susan Waller, and nephew Richard Russell. Lastly, John was a proud Grandpa to his 2 Grandsons, Brice Cronin (Brian & Jennifer) and David Cronin (Eric & Crystal).
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at First Congregational Church of Greeley. Live stream link: https://youtu.be/tzIlOw5Cfw0
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate in John's name to any of the following: The American Cancer Society, Colorado Christian Home, First Congregational Church, Hearing Aid Project, The National Kidney Foundation, United Way of Greeley or your charity of choice in John's name.
Please visit www.allnuttgreeley.com to send condolences to the family.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
John H. Cronin
February 12, 2021
Aunt Polly & Family: Jim & I are so sorry about John's passing. He was a great man & uncle.
February 5, 2021
It was 1971 I was able to take a course from Mr. Cronin. He was interesting ,kind and talked a lot about his family, He left a great impression on everyone. I know you will miss his pleasant personality.
February 1, 2021
I was a vocational rehabilitation student of Dr. Cronin's at UNC in 1970 & 1971. Without a doubt John was the best professor I ever had. He was down-to-earth, practical, caring and provided his students with the knowledge necessary to be successful in the field of rehabilitation. I will remember John's dry sense of humor and corny jokes. His was a life well lived and society is better because of him.
February 1, 2021
Dear Polly and
Children of John and Polly:
I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your husband and father. I remember John’s smiling face when he greeted you and though he was quiet much of the time, he always had interesting comments he would offer. These observations would often make me smile and think twice about the matter at hand.
I was also fortunate to take a class from Dr. Cronin years ago when studying at UNC. I learned a lot from him. Later, When I worked with Polly at the music library, I remember him coming up to the music library to pick Polly up from work.
Most recently, I remember Polly and Johns presence at my retirement reception from UNC and the perfect rose that they brought me.
Both Polly and John have been present at various stages of my life, some of which were very challenging. I can’t imagine John not being present now with Polly or with you his children and the various community activities in which he participated.
John was a quietly consistent, dependable and loving man as well as a great teacher. I am truly sorry for your loss.
I will continue praying for all of you as you walk through this difficult time. My deepest sympathies and love are yours.