We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Carpino Funeral Home
John Michael Cronin Jr. left this world a better place when he passed away on June 15, 2022, in Southbury, CT, at the age of 85.
A man of great character and faith, who was friendly to anyone he met and loved by everyone who knew him, was born-fittingly-on December 25, 1936, at Saint Vincent's Hospital in Montclair, NJ to John and Gladys Cronin. John grew up in Montclair, where he met his wife of 58 years, Diane, one fateful day at Porter Park.
John attended St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, NJ (class of '54), where he played baseball, basketball, and golf for the Gray Bees. He then attended Saint Peter's College, Jersey City, NJ (class of '58), where he competed for the Peacocks in baseball and golf. After college, John played for several years in the Essex County Baseball League (ECBL), and received a couple of tryouts with Major League Baseball teams.
John married Diane Marie Connell on July 13, 1963, at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Montclair. The newlyweds resided in Teaneck, NJ before moving to Bloomfield, NJ, and then Caldwell, NJ, where they lived for 32 years and raised six incredible kids (just ask us). John's job took him and Diane to Havre de Grace, MD in 1997 until his retirement in 2004 after a 47-year career as an executive in the cold storage warehousing industry. Moves to Toms River, NJ, Portland, ME, and finally Southbury, CT followed, as the jet setting couple shared a strong desire to be close to their youngest grandchildren and assist in any way possible.
"The Coach" - as he was called by many - loved playing golf, and spent many summers playing tennis at Elm-Tre Pool & Tennis Club in West Caldwell, NJ. He competed in the West Caldwell-Caldwell Men's Slo-Pitch Softball League until he was 58 years old-including playing the last 10 years of his career with Murph's Sport Shop and his two oldest sons-mentoring them and many other young players along the way. He batted .520 and won the team batting title in 1993 - the year the squad won its first of nine A-League championships.
"Poppy" - as his grandchildren called him - is the all-time leader in innings pitched and pitches thrown-
as well as hit by line drives - during countless Cronin family reunion whiffle ball games. He was a master marble-chute maker, could complete even the most difficult puzzle in record time, and was a prolific whistler (he would say the world's best). When he wasn't entertaining his grandkids, proudly completing a crossword puzzle, or glued to a golf tournament, Yankee game, MSNBC, an episode of "Blue Bloods" -or more recently listening to The Seekers-he loved to "hike" around the neighborhood ponds at Heritage Village, and knew the names of everyone he encountered there and everywhere he lived. He enjoyed his coffee, an English Muffin, and an Entenmann's Glazed Pop'em or two in the morning, and his signature Manhattan in the evening. It's all documented in his "little black books."
John was a Eucharistic Minister and taught CCD and Pre-Cana at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church in Roseland, NJ for many years.
John is survived by his wife Diane Cronin; son Brian and wife Lisa (Fairfield, CT); son Kevin and wife Dianne (Green Township, NJ); daughter Colleen and husband John (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ); daughter Maureen and husband Jonathan (London, UK); son Sean and wife Sarah (Freeport, ME); son Gavin and wife Rachel (Southbury, CT); and his cherished 17 grandchildren: Michelle, Zach, Ryan, Noah, Alyssa, Conor, Josh, Molly, Leo, Colin, Delia, Matt, Hannah, Tate, Seamus, Cam, and Keeley. He is also survived by brother Dennis Cronin (Duxbury, MA) and wife Marsha. He was predeceased by his sisters Jean Marie and Virginia.
A memorial service will take place Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Montclair, NJ.