Memorial services for Russell Cronin, 90, of Lufkin will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. in the Henderson Chapel of the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin, Texas with Reverend D. Nick Sholars and Reverend Wesley Putnam officiating. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Carroway Funeral Home. Long time Lake Charles High School and Woodville Jr. High School band director, Russell Cronin, passed away Monday, March 17, 2014 in Lufkin, Texas. Mr. Cronin was the son of the late Russell W. Cronin and Ella Nora Harden Cronin. Mr. Cronin was born in Barham, Louisiana August, 7, 1923. He graduated from Leesville High School. After earning a degree from Northwestern State College in 1943, he served during WWII as a P-38 fighter pilot. Following the war, Mr. Cronin began his career at Leesville High School, a career that spanned 6 decades. After receiving his Masters Degree from Peabody University, Mr. Cronin moved his family to Lake Charles and began teaching at Lake Charles High School. During his career in Louisiana and Texas, Mr. Cronin's bands earned many awards including 25 consecutive Superior ratings at LMEA Festivals, first place Concert Band at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., and Region Honor Band several times in Texas. He supervised student teaching for Lamar and McNeese Universities and was a noted adjudicator and clinician. Mr. Cronin served as State President of Louisiana Bandmasters Association and was selected as Louisiana Band Director of the Year. During the 1960's and 70's Mr. Cronin played clarinet and tenor sax as a member of the well-known Dance Band Combo 'MelloTones.' His hobbies included chess, golf, tennis, water skiing, fishing, live casino poker, bridge, computer games, motorcycling with his wife throughout all the lower 48 states and crossing Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific, tent camping, traveling in an RV, and going by RV to Alaska along the Al-Can Highway. Mr. Cronin is survived by his wife of 68 years, Mary Virginia Bolton Cronin; sister, Mary Ann Stephenson and husband Ben Stephenson; two children, Suzanne Cronin and Russell Cronin III and wife Theresa; two granddaughters, Mary Evelyn Cronin Gard and husband Joe Gard and Sarah Cronin Hernandez and husband Hector Hernandez; four great-grandchildren, Ella, Rebecca, Gabriel, and Andrew Russell; and nephew, Ben Stephenson, Jr. and wife Linda. Memories and condolences may be added at www.carrowayfuneralhome.com. Carroway Funeral Home, Lufkin, directors.
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Published in The Lufkin Daily News from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2014