Donald Lewis CRONIN (1925 - 2018)

Obituary
  • "Thoughts and prayers go out to the Cronin family. So sorry..."
    - Diane Reed
  • "My heartfelt sympathy to the CRONIN family. I hope you will..."
    - JT
  • "Thank you for your service to our country. Rest In Peace."

CRONIN, Donald Lewis Of Spokane passed away at Hospice House South of Spokane on December 22, 2018. Don was born to Henry and Marie Cronin in Galesburg, Illinois on December 26, 1925 and graduated from Corpus Christi High School. He served his country in World War II as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps, working as a cryptographer in the Brazilian cities of Belem, Fortaleza, and a remote air base in Amapá City. As the war ended, Don was transferred for a six-month stint to Puerto Rico and then entered the Army reserve, returning to the United States to continue his education. Don attended Knox College in Galesburg for two years before transferring to the University of Colorado where he completed a degree in Pharmacy. After passing the necessary examinations, Don intended to settle in California when he learned that his father Henry, also a pharmacist and owner of the family business, had terminal cancer. On learning this, Don returned to Galesburg, assuming management of the pharmacy to support his mother, who was still managing a household with children. In Galesburg, he met Mary Jean Locklin of Rio, Illinois, and they married on October 23, 1954. Theirs was a marriage of love and commitment that endured through Mary Jean's passing in 2017. The pharmacy was successful, yet Don still yearned to move west. In November of 1964, he sold the business and the family, now with five children, moved to Yakima, Washington. A year later, Don and Mary Jean purchased Westview Drug store in north Spokane. As the only pharmacist, Don worked long hours six days a week and, for a time, on Sundays as well. Mary Jean managed the retail end of the store and involved the older children in its operation. The family closed the business in 1969 and Don continued working for another 25 years as a pharmacist at numerous drug stores in the Spokane area. In 1980, Don and Mary Jean launched Cronin's Hallmark Store in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center. Mary Jean managed the day to day affairs of this successful business alongside her husband and their two daughters, Jean and Ann. Don is remembered by staff for his ability to estimate inventory in his head, and by staff and customers for his acts of kindness. They sold their business in March, 1995. In retirement, Don and Mary Jean split their time between Spokane and a home in Surprise, Arizona. Don enjoyed commiserating with his brothers and sisters, particularly his older brother and lifelong friend Bob; playing golf; following Gonzaga basketball; and especially spending time with his beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Don was a devout Catholic throughout life and found strength and moral direction in his relationship with the Church. Don possessed a keen sense of justice and fairness, which he passed on to his family. He was generous with advice but encouraged his children to be independent and make their own decisions. Don engaged everyone, no matter their station in life, with respect, humor, and warmth. Above all else, he had a profound commitment to service. In good times and in challenging ones, he kept his promises to family, friends, and country. Don is survived by his brother William Cronin of Medford, Oregon, and two sisters, Rosemary O'Connell of Huntington Beach, California, and Helen Miller of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He has five children, John (Diane); Mark (Sarah); Greg; Jean Ray (Chad); and Ann Diluzio (Fred); along with nine grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren. Visitation will be held at 10 am on January 22, 2019 at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, 6910 S. Ben Burr Rd, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 am. Remembrances can be made to either Hospice House South of Spokane or .
Published in Spokesman-Review from Jan. 13 to Jan. 20, 2019
bullet U.S. Army bullet World War II
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