Photography

Christopher James Cronin

May 31, 1940 ~ June 15, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Christopher Cronin Obituary

Surrounded by love, Christopher James Cronin transitioned from our realm at 9:14 a.m. on Thursday, June 15. His devoted wife of forty-eight years (Frances Incerto Cronin) and children (Karena Louise Cronin and Christopher Justin Cronin) were by his side, while family and friends near and far enveloped him in love with their words, prayers, and music. At 83 years old, he left us on the same day his mother, Stella Abriel Cronin, was born 112 years ago. An unexpected blessing during a sad and trying time caused by a sudden and severe infection and illness.

A beloved and devoted husband, father, father–in-law, “Grampy,” brother, brother-in-law, uncle, friend, colleague, community member, and human being to all who knew him, he will be deeply and always missed. Yet his goodness will live on in our lives as we remember, honor, and continue to learn from his example.  

A man of extraordinary humility, he would not speak of his goodness, yet he was both good and great. Somewhat effortlessly, he modeled essential values and practices for a ‘good life’ which could probably be parlayed into a best-selling book – but he knew that was not the point.  Consistently and intentionally, he showed kindness to all life, put family and dear friends first, practiced gratitude, pursued learning relentlessly, cultivated a spiritual life, lived in and with nature, stood up for justice, enjoyed simple pleasures, and helped others by sharing what he authentically had to offer.

In addition to spending time with his family and friends, which was his priority and joy above all else, he loved gardening, swimming, camping, hiking, skiing, singing, playing the piano, eating – mostly everything, using duct tape – again for mostly everything, books, history, music – especially jazz and Irish music, taking pictures, Topsail Island in North Carolina, taking naps, small children - especially babies, selective listening, Jesus’s teachings of love and helping others, the Red Sox, a clean kitchen, National Geographic, and traveling (minus the airports).

His purposeful, full, and beautiful life, started on May 31, 1940,  in Brighton, MA, where he was born to Christopher John Cronin of Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland, and Stella Abriel Cronin of Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada. He grew up with his seven brothers and sisters in a three-bedroom home on Peter Tufts Road in Arlington, and left home at the age of 18 after graduating from North Cambridge Catholic High School in 1958. In his youth, he was an avid sportsman, and rumor has it that he was so good at baseball, he could have tried out for one of the draft teams. However, he chose to become a brother of the Holy Cross Order of the Catholic Church in 1958, which led to some years of devotion and adventure. He first served and studied as a brother at Stonehill College in Easton, MA, before setting sail for Rome for fifteen months where he served as a secretary to a reporter on Vatican II Session 1. At some point, he also worked on a farm in Vermont  during his novitiate.

While he loved serving as a secretary at a Catholic boys’ school in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he was determined to go to college and couldn’t do both. He left the brotherhood and returned to Massachusetts to study education and non-Western history at Boston University. There, he worked various jobs to support his personal goal.  During that time, he was also active in the civil rights, labor rights, and anti-war movements. In the spring of 1965, he volunteered for a NAACP voter-registration effort, and he spent a week doing voter-registration based out of St. Paul’s College, then a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Lawrenceville, VA. He completed his undergraduate degree at Salem State University in 1970 and received his Master’s Degree in Geography in 1972. He knew more about the world than most and was also steeped in American history.

He spent the beginning of his professional life teaching. In Georgia he taught at both a Catholic and then a public school, where he taught math and earth science. He was a dedicated Boy Scout Club leader, and he would take scout members camping.  He also taught and was a permanent substitute teacher in schools in New Hampshire, Boston, and the South Shore. He met Fran Cronin in 1973 at a party in Hull,  and they were married on June 28, 1975,  in Norwalk, Connecticut. They wrote their own vows and had folk music at their Catholic ceremony -- quite bold at the time. Joined together in their values and commitment to family, they raised their children,  Karena and Christopher, in Abington, MA. Chris supported their growth and development in innumerable ways, modeling morality and encouraging his children to find their own paths in life. He was also an active community member, volunteering as a sports coach for both his children and being very engaged with Abington’s music parents.  He provided for his family through his varied roles at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Brockton. Instead of giving material gifts, he would plant blueberry bushes and trees in honor of his kids to show his love, something that took time to appreciate. Luckily, with some guidance, he learned how to buy Fran nice gifts for special occasions. 

After retiring, he spent his time doing what he loved most. He traveled the world with Fran to destinations they had always hoped to visit and journeyed to visit his children and grandchildren in South Africa, England, and India – and more recently in Nyack, New York,  and Denver, Colorado. He planted flowers for Fran and continued to grow her food in his garden which she lovingly prepared. He was politically active, going door to door, and holding signs on election days for candidates that he believed would make this country a better place. He also volunteered at the Weymouth Food Pantry and was a devoted member of the Abington Library’s Non-Fiction Book Club. He always had a book with him, and probably read more books during retirement than most can claim in a lifetime.

In addition to his loving wife (Fran) and children (Karena and Chris), he leaves behind a son-in-law Mandeep Singh Tiwana and daughter-in-law Jessica Loren Cronin; grandchildren Amaya Frances Kaur Tiwana (10), Neave Abriel Kaur Tiwana (8), Lachlan David James Cronin (5), and Eloise Frances Cate Cronin (2) who know him as the “best grandfather ever”; beloved siblings Maureen Cronin, Michael Cronin, Patrick Cronin, Brian Cronin, and Eileen Ferreira and their partners Tom Tierney, Bette Cronin, Jack Hamilton, and Victor Ferreira, along with their children and families; in-laws Barbara and Jeffrey Canaday, Peggy and Bill Zachry, and David Eldredge and their children and families; as well as his lifelong friends from Arlington, MA, and their partners and families. He was predeceased by his siblings Kay Cronin and Sheila Cronin, and sister-in-law Bryan Eldredge.

He was a true gentleman to all who knew him, however long or short. His non-judgemental, affirming, peaceful, caring, integral, and joyful presence will be ever-missed.

A visitation will be held on Friday, August 11 from 4-8 p.m. at the Quealy and Son Funeral Home in Abington, MA, and a mass will be held in the Chapel of Mary  at Stonehill College on Saturday,  August 12 at 11 a.m. followed by a celebration of life luncheon. All are welcome. 

In lieu of flowers please consider making a dontation to one of the following organizations in Christopher James Cronin's honor.   The Weymouth Food Pantryhttp://weymouthfoodpantry.org, National Geographic Societyhttps://www.nationalgeographic.org/society/, Holy Cross Brothers  https://secure.qgiv.com/for/missionadvancementandmissioncenter.   

To learn about the work of the Holy Cross Brothers go here, https://www.holycrossusa.org/

 

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Services

Visitation
Friday
August 11, 2023

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Quealy Funeral Home
116 Adams Street
Abington, MA 02351

Funeral Mass
Saturday
August 12, 2023

11:00 AM
Chapel of Mary at Stonehill College
320 Washington St
North Easton, MA 02357

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