Lucille Cronin, age 86, of Nashua, IA, died Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at 11th Street Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City, IA.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 16, 2022, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Nashua with the Rev. Tom Heathershaw celebrating the Mass.
Interment will follow at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery with Glenn McMichael, Matthew McMichael, Lucas McMichael, Joseph Constant, Michael Constant, and Alex Larson serving as pallbearers.
Friends may greet the family from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory — Olson Chapel in Nashua, with a Rosary following the visitation. Visitation continues from 9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Online condolences for Lucille’s family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com.
Lucille’s life – one filled with love and kindness – began on Nov. 4, 1935, when she was born to George and Cecelia (Loughren) Merfeld on their acreage in Greene. The youngest of nine children, she grew up on the acreage where she and her siblings helped their parents with their gardens, strawberry patch, sweet corn, and livestock. It was also as a child that her brother, Mick, gave her the nickname “Tudy.”
She received her education at Sacred Heart Catholic Academy in Greene through the eighth grade and graduated from Greene High School, where she was a member of the Class of 1954. As a student, she found her lifelong passion for music as she sang in the choir, took piano lessons, and also loved playing softball. She was a sports fan throughout her lifetime, especially the ones that her children and grandchildren participated in.
After graduating, Lucille accepted a position at Oliver Tractor in Charles City and worked as the plant manager’s secretary for 10 years.
One night, she and a friend went bowling in Charles City and stopped at Club 218. Tom Cronin was there with a friend who knew the woman Lucille was with. He waved Tom over to the table, and Tom sat down beside Lucille. The rest is history as on Aug. 8, 1964, they were married at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Charles City.
Lucille and Tom lived in Nashua, where Tom worked at First Nashua State Bank, and the couple raised their family that grew to include John, Julie, and Jane. The Cronins’ three children grew up with a good, caring, sweet mother who was incredibly involved in their lives. Lucille was a fantastic listener and baker (her brownies, raisin creams and cherry bars were the best) and was so supportive of her children and their activities. They remember going golfing with Mom and stopping at the Dairy Treat for ice cream (Mom’s favorite treat) or at Nelson’s Nook for a doughnut, and they recall that their mother always had a treat waiting for them after school and loved hearing how their day had gone.
Lucille was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, and for many years she taught religion at St. Michael’s, where she was a member of St. Bernadette’s Circle and a cashier at the church Fair Stand.
She and Tom loved to golf together, and they went on “tour” every summer as they played numerous couples tournaments all around the state of Iowa. Tom will tell you he had the most wonderfully supportive wife when it came to his career as a banker. When the Cronin children finished school, Lucille went to work at the bank as Tom’s secretary, and they worked side by side until they retired in 1999.
The couple enjoyed traveling together, taking cruises, and visiting California a number of times. They also spent time in Bella Vista, Arkansas, where they enjoyed winters golfing “down South.”
Lucille was an amazing grandmother to her six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She loved attending their concerts, sporting events, and other school activities. Lucille loved babies; in fact, if there were infants in the room, she immediately gravitated to them.
Her love for music never ebbed. Lucille played the piano every day, and she loved playing and singing with her children and grandchildren, who will always remember singing songs like Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” with Grandma.
She was an avid solitaire and Sudoku player, and she enjoyed playing cards and games – from 500 to spinner dominoes – with her family and friends.
Lucille was also committed to her community. In addition to being active at St. Michael’s, she was a member of the Junior Federated, a women’s organization in Nashua. The Cronins were longtime members of the Nashua Town and Country Club.
She made everyone around her feel special and worthy. Her two daughters, for example, were both born on the same date, Aug. 12, two years apart, but Lucille made sure that both Julie and Jane had their own special birthday cakes that she baked and decorated herself each year.
Lucille was a remarkable woman, one who was a great teacher to her children and grandchildren and kind and sweet to everyone she met. A wonderful wife, marvelous mother, great grandmother and fantastic friend will be missed by many, who will always cherish the memory of her and her loving and faith-filled example.
She is survived by her husband of almost 58 years, Tom of Nashua; her children, John Cronin of Clear Lake, Julie (Glenn) McMichael of Nashua and Jane Constant of Cedar Rapids; her grandchildren, Matthew (Chloe) McMichael of Nashua, Lucas McMichael of Seattle, Washington, Sarah (Alex) Larson of Nashua, Joseph (Alexsy) Constant of Marion, Michael (Stephani) Constant of Cedar Rapids, Nicole Constant of Cedar Rapids; and eight great-grandchildren, with one on the way.
Lucille was preceded in death by her parents; six brothers, Louis, Paul, James, Eugene, Charles and Maurice Merfeld; and two sisters, Ruth Keeling and Margaret Tolliver.