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Christopher Cronin

Christopher Cronin Obituary
Christopher Cronin

Burlington - Surrounded by loving family, Christopher (Chris) Cronin died peacefully in the early-morning hours of June 27, 2019, a month shy of his 63rd birthday. An easily approachable and rare person of great curiosity about the ideas and perspectives of others, Chris was an enthusiastic community builder. After a long multi-faceted career, including more than 20 years at IBM, he retired from his profession as a social worker and caregiver due to a terminal illness. He will also be long remembered for his generosity and service to his family.

Nature had always been a place of solace for Chris: He hiked a significant portion of the long trail as a teenager and for many years his dream was to hike the Appalachian Trail. In April, 2016, just when he had his tent and hiking gear packed, he realized his aging mother needed him. He set aside his life-long dream and cared for her until the day she moved into an assisted living facility. A lesson from his mother, well embedded in his approach to the world was "to see things from other people's eyes."

Then, in April, 2018, he received the frightening diagnosis: stage four lung cancer. Again, he set aside his dream, the thundering pain and utter exhaustion from aggressive chemotherapy treatments slowing his feet to a shuffle. Despite the physical toll Chris endured since his diagnosis, his spirit and attitude allowed him to survive well beyond the odds. We learned a lot from Chris about bravery, spirit, and coping with the uncertainty and magic of the world during this last year. As his illness progressed, he graciously lowered the scope of his dreams to fit his new reality. He did this with acceptance and gratitude, and we continued to learn from him the truth that there is always a way to continue to dream while facing challenges. He died suddenly, over a period of a few hours, with dreams remaining in his soul.

Chris is survived by his children, Molly and Eli Cronin of Barre, and Anne-Marie Donovan Moore of New Orleans, Louisiana. He also leaves seven brothers and sisters: Thomas Cronin Jr. of Virginia; George Cronin and wife Pam of Bradenton, Florida; Mary Constance and husband Joe of New Boston, New Hampshire; John Cronin and wife Melissa of South Burlington; Maureen Kendall and Michael Cronin of Parrish, Florida; Rose Feenan and husband Gerry of Richmond. Chris was a newly minted grandfather to Finnegan Cronin, an uncle to Linda Cronin and husband Michael Garman; Lucy Cronin and husband Mark Yohn; Rose Constance, Michael Constance and wife Amie; Sarah Cronin and husband Tommy Allen; Hannah Cronin, Rachel Cronin, Chris Cronin and wife Megan; Thomas Kendall, Sean Feenan, and Connor Feenan; and a great-uncle to Savannah Bedard, Mathew Garman, Melvin Yohn, Avery Sutton, Theodore Sutton, Abraham Constance, and a Great great-uncle to Ember Gerdts.

Chris is preceded in death by his son Benjamin, his father, Thomas John Cronin, and his mother, Eve (Gluzinsky) Cronin, for whom he delivered an unscripted and inspiring eulogy, which astonished and delighted his family, friends, and all who were present.

A Celebration of Life is planned for early October at Camp Allen in Bedford, New Hampshire, where we are building the Chris Cronin Memorial Trail. It is a place where others can visit to find solace and feel Chris's presence. Mostly, it's a thinking place, a few hundred feet from the grounds of Camp Allen proper, where Chris worked and volunteered for many years to serve our cherished neighbors with emotional, developmental, and physical challenges. It's Chris's wish to have donations made to Camp Allen for this Memorial Trail. You can send checks directly to Camp Allen, 56 Camp Allen Road, Bedford, NH 03110 or search GoFundMe.com: Chris's Wish for Camp Allen.

Arrangements are with Champlain Cremation.
Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 2, 2019
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