Joseph Francis Cronin, Jr. died peacefully the evening of January 26, 2014 at his home surrounded by family. Joseph was born in Salt Lake City on August 12, 1927 to Joseph F. Cronin, Sr. and Ruth Thatcher. He exhibited great wit and insight in his many letters to the editor. To the relief of many Republicans, this will serve as his final entry in The Salt Lake Tribune. He was raised mainly in Salt Lake City, although his father and mother also moved their family briefly to Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. A child of the Great Depression and a hard worker all his life, Joseph went to work at age 12 to help provide for his family. This experience left an indelible mark on his character- as he once said, "If you work harder than most and study all of your life, you will be successful." |
A proud graduate of Judge Memorial High School, Joseph joined the United States Navy near the end of World War II and flew several missions in support of troops in the Pacific Theatre. After the end of WWII and his honorable discharge from the Navy, Joseph met and married Marilyn Griffith in 1949. He went to work as an airline mechanic at Hill Air Force Base, where, as a civilian, he was steadily promoted until he became a Logistics Specialist for the United States Air Force. During his 40-year career as a Logistics Specialist, he managed several programs, including the construction of the F-4 and F-16 fighter jets, and traveled the world, setting foot on all but one continent. During and after his professional career, he was active in BPOE #85, serving as Exalted Ruler and later as Grand Exalted Ruler. Joseph was a benevolent spirit and donated time and money to various charitable organizations and causes. He was also Santa Claus to thousands of children and particularly enjoyed acting as Santa for children with special needs.
Throughout his life Joseph enjoyed football, baseball and golf (both playing and spectating), skiing, fly fishing, hunting, building model airplanes, and spending time with his beloved wife. One of their greatest joys was attending University of Utah football games. They were season ticket holders for 48 years. Go Utes!
During his 63-year marriage to Marilyn, they traveled the world, thoroughly enjoying their time together and impressing many friends and family with their dancing along the way. However, Joseph considered his and Marilyn's greatest accomplishment to be successfully their raising six children.
Joseph was a loving husband, father and all-around kind and generous person and will be missed by all. In addition to 16 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and one great, great grandson. Joseph is survived by his daughters Mary Wendell (Winn), Kathy Hill (Chris), Patti Farrell (Pat), Michelle Jones (Frank) and sons Joseph F. Cronin III (Pam) and John Kelly Cronin (Gini).
An Irish Wake will be held on Thursday, January 30th At St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 3015 E. Creek Road, Salt Lake City at 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be on Friday, January 31st at St. Thomas More at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, 4th Ave. and "T" St., Salt Lake City.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for scholarships for future teachers to:
The University of Utah Department of Special Education: 540 Arapeen Drive, Suite 250, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108.
Arrangements entrusted to Starks Funeral Parlor. Online condolences may be offered at www.starksfuneral.com
Published in Deseret News from Jan. 28 to Jan. 29, 2014